Boston and Chicago are two of the charter U.S cities in the National Hockey League and both of them had plenty of big moments on this date. Plus, the 1980s provided us with some rad performances and milestones. It’s time for our daily trip back through the years and relive all the best Feb. 12 has had to offer.
All-Time Greats in Boston
We start our journey in Boston, where the Bruins were quite busy on this date. Starting in 1935, when defenseman Eddie Shore scored a goal and added three assists in a 6-5 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Two of those assists came 12 seconds apart in overtime, as the extra session was a full 10-minute period instead of sudden death.
Dit Clapper announced that he would officially retire as a player after the game, on Feb. 12, 1947, against the New York Rangers. The team announced that his No. 5 would be retired and he was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. During the 10-1 beating of the Rangers, Bill Cowley scored a goal and added an assist to become the NHL’s all-time leading scorer with 529 points, passing Syd Howe.
Eddie Johnston became the third goaltender in franchise history to record 150 wins, on Feb. 12, 1972, with a 5-1 victory against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Rick Middleton scored twice to give him 200 career NHL goals, on Feb. 12, 1981, as the Bruins and Colorado Rockies skated to a 3-3 tie.
Finally, on Feb. 12, 1994, Cam Neely scored his 11th career hat trick in a span of 4:02 in the first period to lead the way in a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.
Chicago’s Memorable Day
We move to the Windy City, where, on Feb. 12, 1964, Billy Hay scored twice and Eric Nesterenko added his 150th career goal to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 win over the Rangers.
Tony Esposito became the 17th goaltender to record 200 NHL victories, on Feb. 12, 1975, when Blackhawks rolled over the visiting Bruins 8-3. Jim Pappin scored his sixth career hat trick, while Ivan Boldirev had a goal and three assists.
Dick Redmond became the first defenseman in Blackhawks history to score a hat trick, on Feb. 12, 1977, in a 4-2 win at the Rockies.
Denis Savard scored a goal and tacked on three assists to give him 100 points on the season, on Feb. 12, 1988, in a 4-3 win against the St. Louis Blues. This was the fifth and final 100-point season of Savard’s career.
Charlie Simmer scored his 37th goal of the season, the most ever by a Los Angeles Kings’ left wing, on Feb. 12, 1980, in a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals. He broke the previous record held by Bob Berry. Simmer held this record until Luc Robitaille’s rookie season of 1986-87 when he scored 45 goals.
The Rangers put up 55 shots on goal, on Feb. 12, 1981, to beat the Winnipeg Jets 8-6 at Madison Square Garden. Veteran defenseman Carol Vadnais picked up three assists to reach 400 in his career.
After playing in an NHL record of 776 consecutive games with the Buffalo Sabres, on Feb. 12, 1983, Craig Ramsay missed his first game in almost 10 years. He suffered a broken bone in his foot two nights earlier, which kept him out of this game at the Calgary Flames.
On this same night, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Kings 6-4 to end both their team-record 11-game losing streak and 18-game winless streak (0-17-1). Andre St. Laurent led the scoring with two goals and a pair of assists.
A busy night in 1983 continued when Mark Johnson scored his first career hat trick to lead the Hartford Whalers to a 4-2 win at the New York Islanders. This snapped the Whalers’ team-record 13-game road losing streak.
One year later, Ron Francis scored four goals and added an assist as the Whalers had one of their biggest wins with an 11-0 blowout of the Edmonton Oilers. A pair of Gregs had a big night; Malone scored his second career hat trick and picked up two assists while Millen earned his seventh career shutout.
Mario Lemieux became the first rookie to ever be named the MVP of an NHL All-Star Game, on this date in 1985. The 19-year-old put on a show with two goals and an assist as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 6-4, in Calgary. Ray Bourque had four assists, including on both of Lemieux’s, with the second being the game-winner.
Scott Stevens scored a goal and an added assist to reach 300 points in his career, on Feb. 12, 1988, as the Capitals won 6-2 over the visiting Islanders.
Wayne Gretzky scored three goals, on Feb. 12, 1989, to lead the Kings to a 6-2 win at the Blackhawks. This was the 45th hat trick of his career, the most in NHL history. The Great One still holds the all-time record with 50 hat tricks.
Odds and Ends
The Canadiens extended their league-record 17-game road unbeaten streak (10-0-7), on Feb. 12, 1975, with a 2-2 tie at the Maple Leafs. Defenseman Larry Robinson scored one goal and assisted on the other while goaltender Ken Dryden made 43 saves.
One year later, the Vancouver Canucks beat Canadiens 6-4 in Montreal. Ron Sedlbauer and Dennis Vervegaert each had two goals in the Canucks’ first-ever win over the Habs since they joined the NHL in 1970. They had gone 0-25-5 in their first 30 meetings with the Canadiens.
Steve Yzerman scored twice, on Feb. 12, 1992, to extend his team-record goal-scoring streak to nine straight games. He also added two assists in the Detroit Red Wings’ 9-4 win at Buffalo. He scored 14 goals during the nine-game streak.
Al MacInnis picked up two assists in his 700th NHL game, on Feb. 12, 1993, a 4-4 Flames’ tie with the Quebec Nordiques. One year later, he became the first player in team history to score 800 points with an assist in the Flames’ 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
Also, on Feb. 12, 1994, Mike Gartner became the first player in NHL history to get 25 goals in each of his first 15 seasons, when he scored in the Rangers’ 4-3 overtime win at the Ottawa Senators.
Sergei Fedorov provided all the goals, on Feb. 12, 1995, in the Red Wings 4-4 tie with the Kings. He had a chance for a fifth goal when he was awarded a penalty shot in overtime but he was unable to convert.
Brendan Shanahan picked up his 400th career assist, on Feb. 12, 1999, in the Red Wings 2-1 win at the Blackhawks.
On Feb. 12, 2000, Jeremy Roenick set a Phoenix Coyotes’ team record by scoring his ninth game-winning goal of the season, to give them a 4-3 victory over the Flames. He broke the old record set by Keith Tkachuk during the 1997-98 season.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim established a new league record, on Feb. 12, 2003, when they beat the Flames 4-3 in overtime. This was their 10th consecutive one-goal victory, breaking the previous record set by the 1926-27 Senators.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 28 current and former NHL players have been born on this date. The most notable of this lot are Russ Anderson (66), Bobby Smith (63), Michel Petit (57), Owen Nolan (49), Curtis Brown (45), Jonas Hiller (39), Stefan Noesen (28) and Alex Galchenyuk (27).
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.