Feb. 16 was a night to remember in Steel City as some of the biggest names in franchise history had special moments. Also, a number of the best players in the history of the National Hockey League hit big-time personal milestones. In addition, the 1980s was an especially busy decade on this date. The THW time machine is fired up and ready to go, so let’s take our daily trip back through the years.
A Huge Night in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a lot of great players wear their uniform over the years and a handful of them took the spotlight on this date.
On Feb. 16, 1986, Mario Lemieux extended his team-record consecutive game assist streak to 14 straight games in a 5-5 tie with the New Jersey Devils. He recorded 23 assists during his streak. The record stood until Jaromir Jagr broke it during the 2000-01 season.
A trio of Penguins had a night to remember, on Feb. 16, 1995, in a 5-2 win over the Hartford Whalers. Luc Robitaille scored four goals, including three during the middle frame, for his first hat trick with Pittsburgh. Ron Francis was credited with an assist on all three of those second-period goals to reach 1,100 points in his career. He scored the first 821 of those points as a member of the Whalers before he was traded to the Penguins in 1991. Finally, goaltender Ken Wregget improved his record to 12-0-1 as the team remained unbeaten through the first 13 games of the lockout-shortened season.
Sidney Crosby became the 86th player in league history to score 1,000 career points, on Feb. 17, 2017, with an assist in the first period. He later picked up another assist in overtime as the Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. Crosby hit this gigantic milestone in 757 games, the 12th fastest player to do so. He was the third player to score his 1,000th point during the 2016-17 season, joining Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Sedin.
A Date of Major Milestones
Detroit’s Gordie Howe scored a goal and added an assist to give him 800 career points, on Feb. 16, 1958, as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. He needed 762 NHL games to reach this mark.
Alex Delvecchio became the third player in NHL history to score 1,000 points, on Feb. 16, 1969, during the Red Wings 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He assisted on two of the goals in Howe’s hat trick, joining him and Jean Beliveau of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1,000-point club.
On Feb. 16, 1974, Bobby Orr became the first defenseman in NHL history to score 700 career points, with an assist in the Boston Bruins 5-2 win at the Kings. It took 518 games to rack up 700 points.
Jean Ratelle picked up an assist, on Feb. 16, 1980, in the Bruins 5-3 road win at the Colorado Rockies. This gave him 1,220 and put him ahead of Beliveau for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list.
On this same night, Marcel Dionne scored his 900th NHL point, with an assist in the Kings’ 3-2 win at the New York Islanders.
Michel Goulet became the 17th player in league history to score 500 career goals, on Feb. 16, 1992, in the Chicago Blackhawks 5-5 tie with the Calgary Flames.
We Heart the 80s
Defenseman Larry Robinson had four assists, on Feb. 16, 1980, as the Canadiens improved their undefeated home streak against the Penguins to 33 games (30-0-3), with an 8-1 win.
Peter Stastny picked up four assists, on Feb. 16, 1982, as the Quebec Nordiques beat the visiting Jets 7-3. This gave him 100 points for the second straight season.
That same evening, Clark Gillies scored a pair of goals and assisted on two others, as the Islanders extended their team-record winning streak to 13 games with a 6-2 home win over the Penguins. Bob Nystrom added a goal, to give him 200 in his career.
The Buffalo Sabres beat the Bruins 3-1, on Feb. 15, 1983, to snap goaltender Pete Peeters’ 31-game (26-0-5) undefeated streak, which was one game short of the NHL record for goaltenders.
Jan Ludvig became the first player in Devils’ history to score an overtime goal, on Feb. 16, 1984, as his tally gave New Jersey a 6-5 win over the Whalers.
Glenn Anderson of the Edmonton Oilers scored his 200th NHL goal, on Feb. 16, 1985, in a 5-4 at the Philadelphia Flyers.
Red Wings’ netminder Corrado Micalef had a strange night, on this date back in 1986. He stopped penalty-shot attempts by both Pierre Larouche and Mike Ridley, but both players scored in the game and were the difference in a 3-1 New York Rangers’ win.
Guy Carbonneau scored his 100th NHL goal, on Feb. 16, 1987, as the Canadiens won 7-3 over the Bruins. Mats Naslund scored two goals and set up to more and Robinson had himself another four-assist night to bookend this section.
Odds & Ends
Tiny Thompson became the second goaltender in NHL history and first with the Bruins to win 30 games in a season, on Feb. 16, 1930, with a 4-2 victory at Detroit. He tied Alec Connell’s all-time record of 30 victories set during the 1926-27 season.
Nels Stewart scored the New York American’s only goal, on Feb. 16, 1937, in a 2-1 loss over the Canadiens. This was the 272nd goal of his career, putting him ahead of Howie Morenz for the most in league history at the time.
Fast-forwarding 30 years, to Feb. 16, 1967, when Blackhawks’ goaltender Denis DeJordy extended his franchise-record undefeated streak to 12 games (9-0-3). The 5-1 victory at the Red Wings also pushed Chicago’s unbeaten streak to 15 games (12-0-3).
Ed Giacomin became the fourth goaltender in Rangers’ team history to record 100 victories, on Feb. 16, 1969, in a 4-2 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
Two streaks were extended, on Feb. 16, 1975, in the Canadiens 6-3 win at the Blackhawks. Pete Mahovlich set a team record by getting an assist for the 12th straight game and Montreal extended their NHL-record road undefeated streak to 18 games (11-0-7).
On Feb. 16, 1993, Gary Roberts extended his team-record goal-scoring streak to eight games in the Flames’ 4-4 tie with the visiting Flyers.
The new franchise in Atlanta, set to begin play in the 1999-2000 season, announced they would be known as the Thrashers on this date in 1998.
Mathieu Schneider scored a goal, on Feb. 16, 2001, to help the Kings beat the Minnesota Wild 4-0. This made him the first defenseman in league history to score a goal against all 30 teams. Exactly eight years later, on Feb. 16, 2009, he was traded by the Thrashers back to the Canadiens for a second and third-round pick. The Habs originally drafted Schneider in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.
Trevor Linden became the Vancouver Canucks’ all-time leader in games played, on Feb. 16, 2004, when he appeared in his 897th contest with the team, breaking Stan Smyl’s record. Goaltender Dan Cloutier recorded his 14th career shutout in a 1-0 win at the Colorado Avalance.
On that same evening, Sergei Fedorov scored his 20th goal of the season for the 13th time in his career. He also added an assist in the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s 3-1 win over the visiting Dallas Stars.
Happy Birthday to You
Three Hall of Famers were born on Feb. 16. The late Bobby Bauer and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, along with Lanny McDonald, who turns 68 today. Other notable current and former players sharing a birthday today are Andre St. Laurent (68), Darcy Rota (68), Aleksey Morozov (44), Blair Betts (41), Tuomo Ruutu (38), Korbinian Holzer (33), Austin Poganski (25), Jordan Greenway (24) and Owen Tippett (22).
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.