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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Lemieux scores five goals five different ways; Howe has six points on Christmas @NHLdotcom

As part of the League's Centennial Celebration, is taking a look back at memorable events each week.

Here are Centennial highlights from Dec. 24-31:


Dec. 31, 1988: Mario Lemieux rings out the old year with a one-of-a-kind performance. Lemieux scores five goals -- one at each at even strength, shorthanded, on the power play, via a penalty shot and into an empty net -- in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 8-6 win against the New Jersey Devils at the Civic Arena. He also assists on three goals for an eight-point game. Lemieux's big night is selected as the NHL's Greatest Moment in voting by fans.

Video: 1988: Mario Lemieux scores five different ways


Dec. 30, 1981: Wayne Gretzky shatters the NHL record for the fastest 50 goals in a season. Three nights after scoring four goals against the Los Angeles Kings, Gretzky scores five in the Edmonton Oilers' 7-5 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Northlands Coliseum. Only Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy had scored 50 goals in as few as 50 games.

Video: Memories: Wayne Gretzky scores 50 goals in 39 games


Dec, 29, 1945: Richard scores twice for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the Forum, giving him 100 goals in 145 NHL games. It's the fastest 100 goals by any player in NHL history at that time.


Dec. 28, 1944: After spending the afternoon helping his family move into a new apartment, Richard sets an NHL single-game scoring record that night. An exhausted Richard arrives at the Forum for the Canadiens' game against the Detroit Red Wings after the all-day move. But he's not too tired to score five goals and assist on three others in a 9-1 victory.

Video: Memories: Maurice Richard has an 8-point night


Dec. 27, 2000: After 44 months in retirement, Lemieux, now the owner of the Penguins and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, makes a comeback for the ages. He assists on Jaromir Jagr 's goal 33 seconds into his first shift, scores a goal and has an assist in the second period and finishes with a three-point night in Pittsburgh's 5-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Mellon Arena.

Video: Memories: Mario Lemieux returns to the Penguins


Dec. 26, 1996: Sergei Fedorov scores all five of the Red Wings' goals, the last one at 2:39 of overtime, in a 5-4 victory against the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena. The overtime goal makes Fedorov the first player in NHL history to score all the goals for his team in a game when at least five are scored.

Video: Memories: Sergei Fedorov tallies 5 goals in a game


Dec. 25, 1956: Gordie Howe celebrates Christmas with the biggest scoring night of his NHL career. Howe has six points (three goals, three assists) for the Red Wings in an 8-1 victory against the New York Rangers at Olympia Stadium. 


Dec. 24, 1949: The Canadiens and New York Rangers stage one of the best goaltending duels in NHL history. Bill Durnan of the Canadiens and Chuck Rayner of the Rangers match saves for 60 minutes in a 0-0 tie at the Forum. It's the only 0-0 tie in League history to be played on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

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