Feb. 11 has been a numbers day throughout National Hockey League history. The numbers 400, 500, and 1,000 reappeared multiple times over the decades. Also, there were a handful of impressive streaks extended, and some of the earliest stars in the league had big nights. Let’s jump into the THW time machine to take a look at all the best moments this date has had to offer.
500 is the Magic Number
Jean Beliveau scored the 18th and final hat trick of his amazing career on Feb. 11, 1971, in the Montreal Canadiens’ 6-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. The second of his three goals gave him 500, making him just the fourth player in league history to hit this plateau. After he hit this milestone, the sellout crowd at The Forum gave him a long ovation.
Al Arbour became the fifth head coach to earn 500 NHL career victories on Feb. 11, 1984, when he led the New York Islanders to a 6-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Mark Messier picked up two assists to reach his 500 career points on Feb. 11, 1986, in a 3-2 Edmonton Oilers’ road win at the Detroit Red Wings.
Doug Gilmour also earned his 500th career point on this date in 1990, with an assist in the Calgary Flames’ 5-2 victory at the New York Rangers.
Mario Lemieux had two assists to reach 500 in his career on Feb. 11, 1991, and scored a goal in the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-5 loss at the Oilers. He needed just 433 games to accumulate 500 assists. Only Wayne Gretzky needed fewer as he accomplished this feat in only 352 games.
One year later, Steve Yzerman became another Hall of Famer to record his 500th NHL assist in the Red Wings’ 4-3 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs.
400 is Pretty Good Too
Henrik Lundqvist became the 12th goaltender to win 400 NHL games on Feb. 11, 2017, when he led the Rangers past the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. He was the fastest goaltender to hit this milestone, needing 727 games. He also joined his longtime rivals Martin Brodeur and Tony Esposito as the only netminders to win 400 games with one team.
One year later, Sidney Crosby ended a 10-game goal drought and scored his 400th career goal in the Penguins’ 4-1 win at the St. Louis Blues. He was the 95th player in league history to goal the 400-goal club but was just the 20th to do so with at least 650 assists.
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Joe Pavelski scored his 30th goal of the season and earned his 400th career assist on Feb. 11, 2019, during the Sharks’ 7-2 blowout of the Canucks. He became the sixth player in league history to be taken in the seventh round of the draft or later to have at least five 30-goal seasons.
Don’t Forget About 1,000
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Rob Ramage became the 82nd player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games on Feb. 11, 1993, in a 1-0 loss to the visiting North Stars.
Two years later, on Feb. 11, 1995, Jari Kurri played in his 1,000th NHL game as the Los Angeles Kings won 5-2 at the Maple Leafs. He joined Borje Salming as the only two European-born players to skate in 1,000 games.
Mike Ricci also played in his 1,000th career game on Feb. 11, 2004, becoming the 198th player in league history to do so in the San Jose Sharks’ 4-2 road loss at the Red Wings.
Keeping the Streaks Alive
On this date in 1922, Harry “Punch” Broadbent of the Ottawa Senators set an NHL record by scoring a goal in his 15th straight game, a 4-4 tie with Toronto St. Patricks. He broke the old record held by Joe Malone, set in the NHL’s inaugural season of 1917-18. Neither team scored during a 20-minute overtime period making this the first game in league history to end in a draw.
Bronco Horvath earned an assist on Feb. 11, 1960, in the Boston Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Red Wings. This gave him at least one point in 21 straight games, extending his NHL record.
The Chicago Blackhawks extended their undefeated streak to 13 straight games (10-0-3) on Feb. 11, 1967, in a 4-4 tie with the Maple Leafs. Bobby Hull was the offensive hero with his 19th career hat trick.
Mike Bossy scored a goal and three assists on Feb. 11, 1982, as the Islanders extended their team-record winning streak to 10 straight games, with an 8-2 win in Chicago.
Gretzky had a goal and two assists on Feb. 11, 1988, in the Oilers’ 7-2 win at the Canucks. This made him the first player in league history to have nine-straight 100-point seasons.
Two years later, on Feb. 11, 1990, Lemieux scored a goal to extend his point streak to 46 games as the Penguins won 4-1 in Philadelphia. Rookie Mark Recchi chipped in with a goal and two assists.
This same night, Brett Hull extended his team-record point streak to 20 games in the St. Louis Blues’ 4-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres. He scored 21 goals and 36 points during this span.
Old School Memories
Georges Vezina became the first goaltender in Canadiens’ history to win 100 career games on Feb. 11, 1925, winning 10-3 over the visiting Senators. Aurel Joliat led the offense by scoring a hat trick and adding two assists.
Boston’s George Owen became the first U.S.-born player to score a hat trick in the NHL on Feb. 11, 1932, in the Bruins’ 7-4 loss to the Montreal Maroons.
Speaking of hat tricks, on Feb. 11, 1950, the legendary Gordie Howe scored the first of his career in Detroit’s 9-4 win at the Bruins. He also recorded two assists to finish with five points. Gerry Couture scored four goals for the Red Wings, three of which came in the final period of play.
The NHL Players Association (NHLPA) was formed on Feb. 11, 1957, with Red Wings’ star Ted Lindsay was elected as its first president.
Odds & Ends
Rangers and Red Wings skated to a 3-3 tie on Feb. 11, 1968, in the final game played at the old Madison Square Garden. Rod Gilbert assisted on all three of New York’s scoring plays, including Jean Ratelle’s third-period goal, the final one scored in the building. One week later, the Blueshirts played their first game in the new Garden, which still serves as their home.
Referee Kerry Fraser helped make NHL history on Feb. 11, 1982, when he awarded two members of the Canucks a penalty shot in the third period. Both Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka scored on Red Wings goaltender Gilles Gilbert to help force a 4-4 tie.
Salming became just the fifth defenseman in NHL history to get 600 career assists on Feb. 11, 1988, in a 4-3 Maple Leafs’ win over the visiting Islanders.
Another Maple Leaf hit a personal milestone on this date in 1993, when Dave Andreychuk scored his 350th NHL career goal in a 5-2 win against the visiting Canucks.
Paul Kariya scored to become the first 30-goal scorer in Mighty Ducks of Anaheim team history on Feb. 11, 1996, in a 4-2 win at the New Jersey Devils.
That same night, Peter Forsberg scored his first career hat trick as the Avalanche won 5-3 at Philadelphia. The Flyers originally drafted Forsberg with the sixth overall pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft but traded him to the then-Quebec Nordiques the following year in the huge trade that landed them Eric Lindros.
Although they weren’t officially joining the league until the 2000-01 season on Feb. 11, 1998, the Columbus Blue Jackets named Doug MacLean as their first general manager in team history.
On Feb. 11, 1999, Randy Cunneyworth set the NHL record for the longest period of time between two goals for the same team when he scored during the Sabres’ 5-2 victory over the Canadiens. His last goal for Buffalo came on Nov. 15, 1981, some 17 years, two months, and 27 days before this date.
Ray Bourque became just the second NHL defenseman to score 1,500 career points on Feb. 11, 2000, with a goal during the Bruins’ 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Rangers.
On this same night, Martin Straka tied a Penguins’ team record by scoring twice within seven seconds in the first period. This was all of Pittsburgh’s offense in a 2-2 tie with the Oilers.
Crosby had another milestone on this date, in 2019, when he had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory at the Flyers. This gave him 1,181 career points and moved ahead of Sergei Fedorov for 50th place on the league’s all-time scoring list.
On Feb. 11, 2022, Oilers’ new head coach Jay Woodcroft became the fifth coach to win his NHL debut as his Oilers won 3-1 over the Islanders. He joined Todd Nelson, Ralph Krueger, Craig MacTavish, and George Burnett in the feat.
Happy Birthday to You
A big group of 31 current and former NHL players were born on this date. Among the Feb. 11 birthday boys are Lew Morrison (75), Derek King (56), Jamie Pushor (50), Jaroslav Spacek (49), Bryce Salvador (47), Maxime Talbot (39), Mike Richards (38), Mathieu Olivier (26), Ryan Lindgren (25), Trent Frederic (25), and the late Eddie Shack.