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NHL Centennial

This Week in Centennial History

Gretzky, Lemieux each score first NHL goal; Matthews has four in debut @NHLdotcom

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

Here are Centennial highlights for the week of Oct. 8-14:

Oct. 14, 1979: Center Wayne Gretzky scores his first NHL goal in the Edmonton Oilers' 4-4 tie with the Vancouver Canucks at Northlands Coliseum. He beats goaltender Glen Hanlon for a power-play goal late in the third period.


Oct. 13, 1979: Forward Gordie Howe scores his first NHL goal in eight years. Howe, now 51, has a first-period goal for the Hartford Whalers in a 3-3 tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Civic Center. It's his second NHL game with the Whalers, one of the four teams from the World Hockey Association that joins the NHL in 1979.


Oct. 12, 2016: Center Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the first player in the modern era to score four goals in his first NHL game. He scores four goals in Toronto's season-opening game, but his big night ends with disappointment when an overtime goal by center Kyle Turris gives the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

Video: Bowen calls the historic debut from Auston Matthews


Oct. 11, 1984: Center Mario Lemieux announces his arrival in the NHL by scoring on his first shot during the first shift of his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden. Lemieux scores on a breakaway 2:59 into the game and assists on a first-period goal by Warren Young, but the Penguins lose 4-3 at Boston Garden.


Oct. 10, 1987: Forward Doug Jarvis of the Whalers plays in his NHL-record 964th consecutive game, a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers at the Civic Center. The streak ends one night later when Jarvis misses a game against Boston with an injury; he is sent to Binghamton of the American Hockey League as a player-coach and never plays in the NHL again.

Video: Memories: Jarvis sets record with 964th straight game


Oct. 9, 1982: Gretzky scores his 200th NHL goal in his 242nd game, a 6-3 win by the Edmonton Oilers against the Vancouver Canucks at Pacific Coliseum. Exactly 20 years later, the Los Angeles Kings (who acquire Gretzky in a trade on Aug. 9, 1988), retire his No. 99 before their season-opening game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center.

Video: Wayne Gretzky all-time leader in goals, points


Oct. 8, 1946: Gordie Howe's NHL career begins when he signs a contract with the Detroit Red Wings. The 18-year-old from Floral, Saskatchewan, makes his debut eight days later and remains with the Red Wings through the 1970-71 season.

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