Dec. 28 NHL History
1918: Georges Vezina becomes the first NHL goalie with an assist when teammate Newsy Lalonde picks up the puck after a Vezina save, skates the length of the ice and scores. It came in the Canadiens’ 6-3 win against the Toronto Arenas.
1929: Goaltender Terry Sawchuk is born in Winnipeg. Sawchuk plays seven games with Detroit during the 1949-50 NHL season, then becomes the Red Wings’ full-time starter in 1950-51 and wins 44 games in each of his first two NHL seasons. He plays 21 seasons in the NHL, setting records (since broken) with 445 victories and 103 shutouts. He also makes 40 saves against the Canadiens in Game 6 of the 1967 Stanley Cup Final to help the Toronto Maple Leafs win their most recent championship. He retires after playing for the New York Rangers in 1969-70 and dies in a freak accident after a scuffle with a teammate less than two months after his last game.
1944: Maurice Richard spends the afternoon moving his family from one apartment to another, then uses the evening hours to set an NHL single-game scoring record.
An exhausted Richard arrives at the Forum for the Montreal 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.
Richard has a goal and an assist in the first period, completes his hat trick by scoring twice in eight seconds early in the second and finishes the period with four goals and two assists. He scores his fifth goal of the game midway through the third period and assists on Elmer Lach‘s goal with 13 seconds remaining to get his record-setting eighth point.
When the historic nature of Richard’s achievement is announced to the crowd, 13,000 fans erupt into one of the longest, loudest ovations the Forum has ever heard.
Richard’s eight points remain a single-game Canadiens record (Bert Olmstead ties it with eight points against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 9, 1954). Toronto Maple Leafs center Darryl Sittler had 10 points (six goals, four assists) on Feb. 7, 1976, an NHL record that still stands.
1967: Jean Beliveau is credited with four assists in the Canadiens’ 6-2 victory against the Minnesota North Stars at the Forum to move past Richard into second place on the NHL’s all-time points list. His 967 points are two more than Richard’s career total, and he trails only Gordie Howe, who had 1,533 at the time.
1975: The New York Rangers become the first NHL team to play a team from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Red Army defeat the Rangers 7-3 at Madison Square Garden in the opener of the first “Super Series” between Soviet and NHL teams.
2002: Scott Niedermayer becomes the second NHL defenseman with seven regular-season overtime goals when he scores with 49.5 seconds left in OT to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory against the visiting Washington Capitals. Niedermayer matches the record held by Brian Leetch.
2010: The Vancouver Canucks end a 14-game home winless streak against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 6-2 victory at Rogers Arena. It’s their first win against the Flyers in Vancouver since Jan. 17, 1989. They went 0-9-1 with four ties during the 14 games.