Feb. 5 has had a little bit of everything over the years. We saw one of the coolest moments in All-Star Game history. One of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game hit a pair of unique milestones. Plus, this date was very busy in both Washington D.C. and Chicago. It is time for our daily trip through National Hockey League history as we take a look back at all the best memories from this date.
One Last All-Star Game for Mr. Hockey
NHL legend Gordie Howe played in his final All-Star Game on this date in 1980. Appropriately enough, the game was hosted by the Detroit Red Wings and he was given a hero’s welcome by the fans that watched him play for 25 seasons.
Howe, representing the Hartford Whalers, was the final player to be introduced to the largest crowd to ever see an All-Star Game, 21,002, and they gave him a rousing ovation for over four minutes.
This was Howe’s 23rd All-Star Game appearance and only one not as a member of the Red Wings. It was also Wayne Gretzky’s first All-Star Game, who, of course, went on to break Howe’s league scoring records. Mr. Hockey picked up an assist on Real Cloutier’s goal, the final one of the game, as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 6-3.
This date has been good for some of the best players to ever wear a Washington Capitals uniform. Dale Hunter had a goal and an assist to reach 500 points in his NHL career, on Feb. 5, 1998, as the Capitals lost 4-2 to the visiting New York Islanders.
Dino Ciccarelli scored the 400th goal of his NHL career, on Feb. 5, 1991, in the Capitals’ 5-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks. He became the 33rd player to join the NHL’s 400-goal club.
On Feb. 5, 1994, Peter Bondra scored four goals on four shots in a span of 4:12 in the first period of Washington’s 6-3 home win versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. This set a new league record for the fastest for goals scored by the same player. He wasn’t done there as he added a fifth goal late in the second period.
Exactly five years later, on Feb. 5, 1999, Bondra scored three straight goals for his 13th career hat trick in the Capitals’ 4-1 win against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes. This was his second straight game with a hat trick.
Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist, on Feb. 5, 2019, during the first period of the Capitals’ 3-2 defeat of the Canucks. This gave 1,180career points, making him the highest-scoring Russian-born player in NHL history, passing his former teammate Sergei Fedorov.
Windy City Memories
The U.S capital was not the only city to have a busy night on Feb. 3, as the Chicago Blackhawks had their share of memories. In 1948, Roy Conacher scored three goals his first hat trick with the Blackhawks in a 7-2 win at the Montreal Canadiens. Doug Bentley chipped in with a goal and three assists.
On Feb. 5, 1966, Stan Mikita was cut on the head from a slash by Kent Douglas of the Toronto Maple Leafs during a 5-2 loss. He returned the next night for the rematch in Chicago wearing a helmet for the first time in his career. The new equipment didn’t hinder his game as he scored twice in a 3-2 victory.
A year later, on Feb. 5, 1967, Bobby Hull became the first player in team history to score 350 career goals. He also added an assist as the Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 5-0. Goaltender Denis DeJordy earned his fifth career shutout to extend the team’s unbeaten streak to 11 games (9-0-2).
Bernie Nicholls scored four goals on four shots, on Feb. 5, 1995, for his 16th career hat trick and his first with Chicago. He also assisted on two other goals as the Blackhawks rolled to a 9-4 road win at the Canucks.
Two Milestones for Roy
If you were to ever built a Mt. Rushmore of NHL goaltenders there is little doubt that Patrick Roy would be included. He hit two big personal milestones on this date.
In 1996, Roy became the fourth goaltender in NHL history to win 10 or more games with two teams in one season. He picked his 10th win with the Colorado Avalanche by beating his former team, the Canadiens, 4-2. He won 12 games with Montreal before being traded to the Avs on Dec. 6, 1995.
Three years later, on Feb. 5, 1999, Roy became the youngest goaltender to win 400 NHL games with a 3-1 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. He made 26 saves to extend his personal winning streak to 10 games and give the Avalanche their 11th win in a row.
New Records on the Blue Line
On Feb. 5, 1985, Islanders’ defenseman, Denis Potvin became the fourth player and first defenseman in franchise history to score 250 goals. His milestone goal, along with an assist, came in New York’s 7-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Roy wasn’t the only player to make history in Colorado’s 3-1 win in 1999. Larry Murphy of the Red Wings played in his 1,447th game, breaking Tim Horton’s NHL record for career games by a defenseman.
Scott Niedermayer became the highest-scoring defenseman in New Jersey Devils history, on Feb.5, 2003, when he picked up an assist in a 4-1 win against the Capitals. His 407th point with the team moved him one ahead of teammate Scott Stevens.
Odds & Ends
Dick Irvin became the first coach in NHL history to win 500 games, on this date in 1950, when the Canadiens beat the Bruins 5-3.
Two years later, on Feb. 5, 1952, Woody Dumart scored his 200th career goal and Milt Schmidt scored the 4,000th goal in franchise history as the Bruins beat the Blackhawks 5-0. Jim Henry made 29 saves for his second straight shutout and the ninth of his career.
Bill Gadsby became the first NHL player to appear in 300 or more games with three different teams, on Feb.5, 1966, when he picked up an assist in the Red Wings’ 2-2 tie with Montreal. He had previously played in 300 games with the Blackhawks and New York Rangers before landing in Detroit. Jean Beliveau set up both Canadiens’ goals to reach 500 assists in his career.
The Flyers ended their team-record 19-game road winless streak (0-15-4), on Feb. 5, 1972, with a 3-1 win at the Maple Leafs. Bob Kelly scored the game-winning goal with Bobby Clarke picking up the lone assist. Exactly four years later, Clarke became the first player to score 200 goals as a member of the Flyers. He also had a pair of assists to lead the offense in a 6-1 win over the visiting Canucks.
Rookie Bernie Federko scored his first career hat trick, on Feb. 5, 1977, to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 6-5 win against Buffalo Sabres. The victory ended a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) for the Blues.
Steve Yzerman scored his 49th and 50th goals of the season, on Feb. 5, 1989, to lead the Red Wings to a 6-2 road win at the Winnipeg Jets. This marked the second straight 50-goal season for the Wings’ captain. He finished the 1988-89 season with a career-high 65 goals.
Dave Taylor became the 29th player in league history to score 1,000 career points, on Feb. 5, 1991, with two assists in the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-2 win at the Flyers. He joined the 1,000-point club in 930 games, all with the Kings.
Ron Francis recorded two assists, on Feb 5. 1997, to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-3 win at the Canadiens. This gave him 500 points with the Penguins, making him just the second player in league history to score 500 points with two different teams. He had scored 821 points for the Whalers before arriving in Pittsburgh.
Mike Gartner set a record nobody ever wants, on Feb. 5, 1998, during the Phoenix Coyotes 6-2 loss to the Flyers. This was his 1,412th NHL game, making him the league’s all-time leader in games for a player who had never won Stanley Cup. He broke the previous record held by Hall of Famer Harry Howell.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 19 current and former NHL players have been born on Feb. 5. The most notable names of the lot include Larry Hillman (84), Richard Matvichuk (48), Jan Hrdina (45), Tomas Kopecky (39), Mitchell Stephens (24) and Nicolas Roy (24).
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.