Some of the greatest players to ever play in the National Hockey League had big moments on April 14. A pair of legends hoisted the Stanley Cup for the final time in their careers. The longest winning streak and winningest season in league history both ended on this date, as well.
Two Legends Win Their Final Cup
On April 14, 1955, the Detroit Red Wings knocked off the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to win the championship for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last six. Alex Delvecchio scores twice in the victory with Gordie Howe adding a goal in between. Although his professional career did not officially end until 1980, this was the last championship for Howe. This was the Red Wings’ final Stanley Cup win until 1997.
The Canadiens bounced back well from their loss to the Red Wings as they went on to win the next five Stanley Cups. On April 14, 1960, they completed a four-game sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs to become the first and only team in NHL history to win five straight championships. The 1960 Canadiens did not lose in the postseason as the swept their semifinal series against the Boston Bruins, as well.
A pair of legendary players found the scoresheet as Jean Beliveau scored two goals and Maurice Richard assisted on a goal by his brother Henri.
The assist is Richard’s 126th and final Stanley Cup playoff point as this turns out to be the final game of his remarkable career. He reported to training camp the following September but announced his retirement before the season began. He scored 544 goals and 966 points in 978 games for the Canadiens and won eight Stanley Cups. The Hockey Hall of Fame waived its three-year waiting period and inducts Richards in 1961.
It’s All About the Streaks
Steve Larmer of the Chicago Blackhawks played in his 800th consecutive game on April 14, 1992, a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The milestone left Larmer third on the NHL’s all-time list behind Doug Jarvis (964) and Garry Unger (914) in consecutive games played. He never missed a game in his entire career with the Blackhawks.
On April 14, 1993, the longest winning streak in NHL history finally comes to an end when the Pittsburgh Penguins tie the New Jersey Devils on the final day of the regular season. The draw ends the Penguins’ 17-game winning streak, which was two games longer than the previous record of 15 held by the 1981-82 New York Islanders. Mario Lemieux has two goals and an assist to close out the season with a league-leading 160 points in just 60 games.
That same evening, April 14, Adam Oates extended his Bruins’ team-record by picking up an assist for the 18th straight game, in a 4-2 win at the Ottawa Senators. Oates racked up 28 assists during the 18-game streak, which remains the second-longest in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky’s 23-game assist streak in 1990-91.
On April 14, 2001, the Red Wings set an NHL record by winning their 13th consecutive first-round playoff game. The milestone victory came in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The previous record of the 12 straight first-round wins was held by the Edmonton Oilers who accomplished the feat between 1983 and 1986.
Two Eras End in Chicago
On April 14, 1980, Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita announced his retirement from the NHL. In 22 seasons, all in Chicago, scored 541 goals and 1,467 points in 1,396 games. He won two Hart Trophies and was a four-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy. He remains the franchise’s all-time leader in points. The 1961 Stanley Cup winner was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
The arena Mikita played all his home games in hosted its final regular-season game exactly 14 years later. On April 14, 1994, the Blackhawks lose 6-4 to the Maple Leafs in the regular-season finale at the Chicago Stadium.
A Memorable Date in 1999
April 14, 1999, provided a handful of big milestones as the 1998-99 regular season neared its completion. First, the New Jersey Devils tied an NHL record for road wins in a season with a 2-1 win at the Buffalo Sabres. They shared the record set by the 1976-77 and 1977-78 Canadiens. Martin Brodeur became the first goaltender in franchise history to win 200 games.
Hall of Fame head coach Scotty Bowman recorded his 1,100th career NHL victory in the Red Wings 4-2 win against the visiting Nashville Predators. Bowman is the only coach to ever win more than 1,000 games and he would retire three years later with 1,244 wins.
Finally, Goaltender Curtis Joseph set a Maple Leafs team record, when he won his 35th game of the year, a 3-2 overtime victory against the Islanders. He broke the record of 34 wins shared by Johnny Bower, Felix Potvin, and Mike Palmateer. Joseph would break his own record the following season with 36 wins. Frederik Andersen holds the franchise record now after winning 38 games in the 2017-18 season.
Stanley Cup Playoff Milestones
The Maple Leafs made history on April 14, 1942, by beating the Red Wings 9-2 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Don Metz, who did not play in the first three games of the series, scores a hat trick and adds two assists. The nine goals tied the mark the Red Wings scored against the Maple Leafs during the 1936 Stanley Cup Final. They remain the biggest scoring outputs by one team in the history of the Final.
On April 14, 1983, Paul Reinhart became the first defenseman in Calgary Flames’ history to record a playoff hat trick, scoring all of their goals in a 6-3 loss to the Oilers. On April 8, 1984, he became the first defenseman in modern NHL history to get two career playoff hat tricks. He remains the only blueliner with two postseason hat tricks.
Patrick Roy became the first and only goaltender to win 150 Stanley Cup playoff games on April 18, 2003. He reached the milestone in a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild for his 23rd and final postseason shutout. His 151 career playoff wins remain the league record, which may never be broken.
On April 14, 2018, David Pastrnak scores three goals and adds three assists in the Bruins’ 7-3 win over the Maple Leafs in Game 2 of their first-round series. At just 21 years and 324 days, Pastrnak becomes the youngest player in NHL history to have at least six points in a playoff game. The previous mark was held by Gretzky, who was 22 years and 81 days old when he scored seven points for the Oilers in 1983.
Odds & Ends
The Red Wings capped off the winningest season in NHL history on April 14, 1996, with a 5-1 win at the Dallas Stars. They finished their incredible season with 62 wins in 82 games, two more than the 1976-77 Canadiens won in 80 games. However, the magical regular season ends in disappointment as they lost to Roy and the Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.
On that same date, Jaromir Jagr gets two assists to set an NHL record for most points in a season by a right wing, breaking the old record of 147 points set by Mike Bossy. His 149 points that season are still the most by any player at the position.
Scott Mellanby became the first player to score 250 points as a member of the Florida Panthers on April 14, 1998, when he picked up a goal in a 3-2 loss to the visiting Ottawa Senators. His 354 points remain fifth all-time in Panthers franchise history.
On April 14, 2002, goaltender Chris Osgood set an Islanders team record for most games in one season, when he played in his 66th of the year. Osgood broke the mark of 65 games set by Ron Hextall in 1993-94. His record still stands.
Happy Birthday to You
There are 25 players who have skated in the NHL celebrating birthdays today. Among them are Steve Chiasson (53), Jason Weimer (44), Grant Clitsome (35), Eric Gryba (32), Luke Witkowski (30) and late Hall of Famer Sylvio Mantha.