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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 26: Canada evens Summit Series against Sovet Union

Plus: Rangers sign Hockey Hall of Famer Lafleur; Bruins bid farewell to Boston Garden

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


1972: Paul Henderson scores the tiebreaking goal with 2:06 remaining in the third period to give Canada a 4-3 victory against the Soviet Union in Game 7 of the Summit Series.

Playing before a full house in Moscow, each team scores twice in the first period. Rod Gilbert puts Canada ahead 3-2 at 2:13 of the third, but Alexander Yakushev ties the game with a power-play goal at 5:15. With time running down, defenseman Serge Savard's pass sends Henderson in alone on two Soviet defensemen. He dekes, slides the puck through Evgeny Tsygankov's legs, goes around him and beats goaltender Vladislav Tretiak to put Canada ahead to stay.

After seven games, each team has three wins, three losses and a tie.



1925: The New York Americans, an expansion team scheduled to start play for the 1925-26 season, buy the roster of the Hamilton Tigers for $75,000. The move comes not long after the Tigers drop out of the NHL for financial reasons.


1926: The NHL decides that blue lines will be measured 60 feet from each goal line, rather than 20 feet from the center of the rink. This decision widens the neutral zone and decreases the number of offside calls.


1988: The New York Rangers sign Guy Lafleur less than three weeks after the longtime Montreal Canadiens star is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and six days after he turns 37. Lafleur, who's been retired since early in the 1984-85 season, soon joins Gordie Howe as the only players in NHL history to skate in a regular-season game after being admitted to the Hall. Lafleur finishes with 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 67 games. He plays two more seasons with the Quebec Nordiques before retiring for good.


1995: The Boston Bruins say goodbye to their longtime home, Boston Garden, with a preseason game against their biggest rival, the Montreal Canadiens. Hockey Hall of Famers Milt Schmidt, Johnny Bucyk, Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito personally lower their retired numbers from the rafters for the trip to the new Fleet Center (now TD Garden). Though Orr gets the biggest ovation and is given the honor of taking the last skate around the Garden ice, the highlight of the evening comes when Normand Leveille, a forward forced to retire 13 years earlier because of a cerebral hemorrhage, appears on skates. Leveille is helped onto the rink and around the ice by Ray Bourque and Terry O'Reilly as Rene Rancourt sings "Auld Lang Syne."

Video: Memories: Doors close on the historic Boston Gardens

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