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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Willie O'Ree becomes first black player in NHL; Patrick Roy, Dick Irvin reach milestones @NHLdotcom

It was a week filled with goals in the NHL, highlighted by the Pittsburgh Penguins' 8-7 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Monday in the League's highest-scoring game in more than five years.

As part of the League's Centennial Celebration, will take look back at memorable events each week. Here are Centennial highlights for the week of Jan. 15-21:


Jan. 15, 2016: Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks scores three goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs for his first NHL regular-season hat trick, 32 years to the day another Chicago star, goaltender Tony Esposito, gets his final NHL win and shutout in a 2-0 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Stadium.


Jan. 16, 1964: Gordie Howe passes Maurice Richard to become the NHL's all-time leading scorer. He's the ninth of 10 players who have had the distinction of being No. 1.


Jan. 16, 2006: Eleven years after scoring one of the most spectacular goals in NHL history, Alex Ovechkin still can't explain it.

Video: Memories: Rookie Alex Ovechkin scores an iconic goal


Jan. 17, 1996: Steve Yzerman becomes the 22nd player in NHL history to score 500 career goals. No. 500 comes on a power play in the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena. Yzerman joins Gordie Howe as the only players to score 500 goals with the Red Wings.


Jan. 18, 1958: Willie O'Ree makes history just by stepping onto the ice at the Montreal Forum as a member of the Boston Bruins. That night, he becomes the first black player to skate in an NHL game.

Video: TBL@LAK: Legend Willie O'Ree drops puck on MLK Day


Jan. 18, 1964: Terry Sawchuk gets his 95th career shutout, moving him past former Canadiens goaltender George Hainsworth into first place on the all-time list.


Jan. 18, 2002: Luc Robitaille, then with the Detroit Red Wings, scores his 611th regular-season goal to become the all-time NHL leader among left wings. Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, the man whose record he passed, had a gift for him.


Jan. 19, 1950: Dick Irvin becomes the first to coach 1,000 NHL games. Though the milestone passed with barely a notice, Irvin's son wasn't the least bit surprised by the lack of fanfare.


Jan. 20, 2003: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy's 29-save performance in a 1-1 tie with the Dallas Stars takes a back seat to the fact he becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to play in 1,000 games.


Jan. 21, 1989: Wayne Gretzky passes Marcel Dionne to become the NHL's second-leading career scorer. He has a goal and three assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 5-4 loss to the Hartford Whalers at the Civic Center, giving him 1,771 points.

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