November 22 NHL History
1927: Olympia Stadium in Detroit hosts its first NHL game. A crowd of 14,000 watches the Ottawa Senators defeat the Detroit Cougars (later the Red Wings) 2-1. The franchise plays its home games at the Olympia until Dec. 15, 1979, before moving to Joe Louis Arena.
1962: Red Kelly of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the third player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games. It comes in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium. Kelly finishes his Hockey Hall of Fame career with 1,316 games played, 846 with Detroit and 470 with Toronto.
1972: The Pittsburgh Penguins set an NHL record that still stands by scoring five goals in a span of 2:07 during a 10-4 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues. Bryan Hextall, Jean Pronovost, Al McDonough, Ken Schinkel and Ron Schock all score in the third period against goaltender Wayne Stephenson.
1986: Wayne Gretzky gets his 39th NHL hat trick and reaches the 500-goal mark. The 25-year-old’s milestone comes in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Northlands Coliseum. Gretzky scores goal No. 500 in his 575th NHL game, the fastest it’s been done in League history.
Exactly 13 years later, Gretzky is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which bypasses its regular three-year waiting period. He is inducted seven months after retiring from the League.
2003: The NHL heads outdoors for the first time in its 86-year history. Before a record crowd of 57,167 fans at Commonwealth Stadium, the Montreal Canadiens edge the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in the Heritage Classic.
The celebration of hockey begins with a game between alumni of the Oilers and Canadiens, including Wayne Gretzky from the Oilers and Guy Lafleur from the Canadiens. It even has a still-active Mark Messier of the New York Rangers, a member of Edmonton’s dynasty in the 1980s. He gets permission from Glen Sather, Rangers general manager and the coach of Edmonton’s alumni team, to play in the game.
The big crowd sits through bone-chilling cold to see the Oilers alumni win 2-0, then watches the Canadiens hold off the Oilers in the scheduled game. One player who comes up with a unique idea on keeping warm is Montreal goaltender Jose Theodore, who comes out for warmups wearing a toque (wool cap) atop his mask and keeps it on throughout the game.
1999: Rookie forward Dean Sylvester scores his first three NHL goals and has an assist in the Atlanta Thrashers’ 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Philips Arena. It’s the first hat trick in Thrashers history.