NHL History

December 8: This Day in NHL History

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Dec. 8 NHL History

1931: The Boston Bruins lose 3-2 to the New York Americans at Boston Garden, ending their 24-game unbeaten streak (19-0-5) at home. It’s their first loss at the Garden since Nov. 25, 1930, when the Chicago Blackhawks win 4-3 in overtime.

1979: On his 40th birthday, Red Berenson is named coach of the St. Louis Blues, replacing Barclay Plager. The hiring comes a year after Berenson retires as a player with the Blues, with whom he scores 412 points (172 goals, 240 assists) in 519 games.

1987: Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to score a goal by shooting the puck into the net.

The Flyers lead the Boston Bruins 4-2 at the Spectrum when goalie Rejean Lemelin is pulled for an extra skater. Hextall, already known for his stickhandling skill, grabs a loose puck to the left of his net and lifts a shot that goes past the Boston defense and slides into the empty net at 18:48 of the third period.

Though Billy Smith of the New York Islanders is the first goaltender to be credited with scoring a goal when the Colorado Rockies backpass the puck into their own net during a delayed penalty on Nov. 28, 1979, Hextall is the first to score by shooting the puck. For good measure, he does it again on April 11, 1989, in a playoff game against the Washington Capitals.

1993: Jari Kurri becomes the highest-scoring European player in NHL history, passing Peter Stastny, when he has a goal and two assists in the Los Angeles Kings’ 6-5 loss to the visiting Florida Panthers. Kurri’s 1,223rd point is one more than Stastny; he finishes his career with 1,398.

1997: The Toronto Maple Leafs play the 5,000th game in franchise history and celebrate with a 3-0 victory against the Dallas Stars at Air Canada Centre. Ed Belfour makes 25 saves and Mats Sundin scores twice in the third period. The win gives the Maple Leafs a record of 2,139-2,135-726.

1999: The Kariya brothers oppose each other in an NHL game for the first time when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Vancouver Canucks tie 2-2 at Arrowhead Pond. Paul Kariya scores a power-play goal for Anaheim; younger brother Steve Kariya has an assist for Vancouver.

2014: Jaromir Jagr, playing in his 1,500th NHL game at age 41, scores a goal and has an assist for the New Jersey Devils in a 2-1 win at the Carolina Hurricanes. Jagr is the 15th player in NHL history to reach that games-played milestone and the sixth to have a multipoint performance in his 1,500th regular-season game. He joins Gordie Howe (one goal, one assist), Alex Delvecchio (two assists), Johnny Bucyk (two goals), Larry Murphy (two assists) and Mark Messier (one goal, one assist).


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