Today in Hockey History: Feb.19

Three big-time hockey cities – Montreal, Edmonton and Washington – all had plenty of memories on this date. Feb. 19 has also provided us with some great performances and milestones between the pipes. It is time for us to take our daily trip back through National Hockey League history and relive the best moments from this date.

Montreal Canadiens Take Center Stage

A pair of Canadiens Hall of Famers had big performances, on Feb. 19, 1955, as they blew out the New York Rangers 10-2. Bernie Geoffrion scored five goals, including four on the power play. This was the only five-goal in the entire NHL from 1947 until 1961. Defenseman Doug Harvey did his part on offense by chipping in with five assists.

Another duo of all-time greats in Montreal hit milestones, on Feb. 19, 1977, as the Habs extended their team-record home undefeated streak to 23 straight games (18-0-5) with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Yvan Cournoyer scored twice to become the third player in franchise history to score 400 goals. Also, Jacques Lemaire lit the lamp to become the sixth player to score 300 goals with the Canadiens.

Cournoyer scored his 400th goal on this date in 1977. (THW Archives)

Russ Courtnall completed his second career hat trick by scoring on a penalty shot, on Feb. 19, 1990, during a 5-5 tie with the Detroit Red Wings.

On Feb. 19, 2008, the Canadiens tied the record for the biggest comeback in league history by beating the Rangers 6-5 in a shootout. The Blueshirts opened a 5-0 lead just five minutes into the second period before the tables began to turn. Michael Ryder began the epic comeback with two goals before the end of the middle frame. Alex Kovalev and Mark Streit scored early in the third period to draw within one goal. Kovalev proved to be the hero by tying the game on a power play, with less than five minutes in regulation, before scoring the only goal of the shootout to pull off the victory.

Edmonton Oilers Dominate the 80s

Rookie Wayne Gretzky and legend Gordie Howe played against each other for the fourth and final time, on this date in 1980. Neither player found the scoresheet as the Oilers beat the Hartford Whalers 6-2.

Gretzky found the scoresheet, on Feb. 19, 1982, when he scored his 14th career hat trick and added two assists in a 7-4 win over the visiting Whalers. Jari Kurri did his part with a goal and three assists.

One year later, Kevin Lowe set a team record for the most points by a defenseman in a game when scored a goal and added five assists in a 10-7 road win at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kevin Lowe Edmonton Oilers
Lowe was a big part of the 1980s dynasty in Edmonton. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Gretzky had another five-point game with two goals and three assists, on Feb. 19, 1985, as the Oilers’ won 9-4 at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Glenn Anderson scored his 10th career hat trick and an assist while Kuri scored three times for his 14th hat trick.

Defenseman Paul Coffey scored two goals and added three assists to give him 100 points on the season, on Feb. 19, 1986, in a 9-5 win over the Maple Leafs. This was his third straight 100-point season with the Oilers.

A Historic Date for Washington Capitals

The Capitals beat the Canadiens, 3-1, on Feb. 19, 1980, to record their first win over Montreal in franchise history. Bengt-Ake Gustafsson scored the game-winning goal in the third period before Mike Gartner iced the game with an empty-net goal. Since entering the NHL in the 1974-75 season, the Capitals had gone 0-31-3 versus Montreal until this night.

Exactly nine years later, on Feb. 19, 1989, Dale Hunter scored the 4,000th goal in Capitals’ team history, during a 3-2 road loss at the Vancouver Canucks.

Getting it Done in the Crease

Rogie Vachon became the first goaltender to record 25 shutouts in a Los Angeles Kings uniform, on Feb. 19, 1977, by blanking the visiting Boston Bruins 2-0.

Mike Vernon led the Calgary Flames to a 6-4 win over Bruins, on Feb. 19, 1992, giving him at least 20 wins in six consecutive seasons.

Mike Vernon Calgary Flames
Vernon was rock solid during his career in Calgary. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Hall of Famer Patrick Roy became the second-youngest goaltender to win 300 NHL games, on Feb. 19, 1996, when he and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Oilers 7-5. Peter Forsberg was the offensive hero with his second career hat trick and two assists.

One year later, the New Jersey Devils extended their team-record unbeaten streak to 12 games, while goaltender Martin Brodeur stretched his personal unbeaten streak to 13 games (8-0-5), in a 1-1 tie with the Rangers.

Chris Osgood recorded his fifth shutout of the season, on this same night, in the Red Wings’ 4-0 win over the visiting Flames. Steve Yzerman picked up three assists as he became the third player to play 1,000 games with Detroit.

Roy hit another personal milestone, on this date in 2001, with the Avalanche’s 5-1 win at the Penguins. The victory was made him the fourth netminder in NHL history to have six straight seasons with at least 30 wins. Forsberg was the offensive leader again, with two goals and a pair of assists.  

Jean-Sebastien Giguere set the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim’s record for most shutouts in a season, on Feb. 19, 2003, when he kept the Columbus Blue Jackets off the board in a 2-0 win. He broke the previous record set by Guy Hebert.

A pair of goaltenders kept streaks alive, on Feb. 19, 2019. First, Jordan Binnington made 34 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 overtime win versus the Maple Leafs. Ryan O’Reilly’s overtime goal gave the Blues their 11th straight win. Binnington became the sixth goaltender in league history to win at least 13 for his first 15 career starts.

Jordan Binnington St. Louis Blues
Binnington’s rookie season was straight from a storybook! (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Then, in Philadelphia, backup goaltender Louie Domingue helped the Tampa Bay Lightning to their seventh win in a row, by beating the Flyers 5-2. This was their third winning streak of at least seven games during the 2018-19 season, becoming the sixth team to accomplish this feat. Domingue extended his personal winning streak to 11 games, which was the longest in franchise history.

Legends Make Noise in 1972

Feb. 19, 1972 was very busy night for a trio of all-time greats. In Buffalo, Darryl Sittler scored his first career hat trick, including two goals in 10 seconds, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 win over the Sabres. Rick Martin had the lone goal for Buffalo. This gave him 39 on the season, setting the NHL record for most goals in a season by a rookie. He broke the mark set by Gilbert Perreault the previous season.

In the Twin Cities, Phil Esposito became the first player in NHL history to have three 100-points seasons in his career, when he picked up an assist in the Bruins’ 6-4 win at the Minnesota North Stars.

Odds & Ends

Rod Gilbert became the first player in Rangers team history to score 1,000 career points, on Feb. 19, 1977, with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 loss at the New York Islanders. He was the 11th member of the NHL’s 1,000-point club and he needed 1,027 games in order to join.

Mike Bossy scored his 100th career goal, on Feb. 19, 1979, to help the Islanders win 8-3 in Los Angeles. He hit this milestone in just 129 games, breaking Maurice Richard’s record for the fastest to 100 goals in NHL history. The Rocket did it in 134 games.

Phil Housley set a new scoring record for Sabres defensemen, on Feb. 19, 1988, when he netted his 25th goal of the season, during a 5-4 loss to the Flyers.

Three years later, on Feb. 19, 2001, Christian Ruuttu scored the 6,000th goal in Sabres team history, in a 6-3 road loss in Pittsburgh.

On Feb. 19, 1998, the Flames signed undrafted free agent Martin St. Louis out of the University of Vermont. He spent the first 69 games of his Hall of Fame career in Calgary, scoring his four goals and 16 points.

Staying with the Flames, one year later, Theo Fleury had two goals and an assist in a 6-3 win over the visiting Mighty Ducks. This gave him 822 points in a Flames uniform, which moved him ahead of Al MacInnis to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. His record-breaking point came on a shorthanded breakaway goal.

On Feb. 12, 2000, Mark Messier picked up two assists for the 2,000th point of his NHL, in regular season and playoffs combined, as the Vancouver Canucks earned a 3-1 road victory at the Ottawa Senators.

Penguins’ forward Ryan Malone became the first player in NHL history to score a hat trick with a goal in the final minute of each period, on this date in 2007. However, his historic performance was not enough as Pittsburgh fell 6-5 to the Islanders.

Patrick Kane scored his 20th goal of the season, on Feb. 19, 2019, to lead the Blackhawks to a 5-1 win in his hometown of Buffalo. This made him the first U.S.-born player to ever score at least 20 goals in each of his first 10 NHL seasons.

Happy Birthday to You

A group of 25 current and former NHL players are celebrating their birthdays today. The most successful of this bunch includes Gary Leeman (57), Rob Dimaio (53), Ryan Whitney (38), Clayton Stoner (36), Kyle Chipchura (35), Shawn Mattias (33) and Dylan Coghlan (23).


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