Some of the biggest names in the history of the National Hockey League had big moments on April 3 throughout the years. One of the most storied franchises had a couple of first today, as well. Plus, two of today’s top offensive stars hit major milestones too.
A Memorable Date for Hull
On April 3, 1966, Bobby Hull picked up an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins in their regular-season finale. He finishes the season with 97 points, the most ever in NHL history, breaking Dickie Moore’s previous record of 96. To put this into perspective, 343 players have scored 97 points or more in a season since this date.
Hull had two Hall of Famers either pass or tie him on the all-time goals list on this date, as well. On April 3, 1997, Mario Lemieux moved ahead of Hull with his 611th career goal against the Hartford Whalers.
Three years later, Brett Hull tied his father for ninth place on the all-time goals list when he scored his 610th goal in the Dallas Stars’ 2-2 tie with the Calgary Flames.
Maple Leafs Firsts
On April 3, 1976, Darryl Sittler became the first player in Toronto Maple Leafs history to score 100 points in a season. The milestone came with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss to the Bruins. The Maple Leafs were the last of the “Original Six” teams to have a player with a 100-point season.
Sittler picked up 10 of those 100 points in one game when he set the NHL record with six goals and four assists against the Bruins on Feb. 7, 1976. He and Doug Gilmour are the only two players in franchise history to have a 100-point season with both players doing it twice.
When the Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils on April 03, 1993, they set the franchise record with their 42nd win of the season. They would win their final two games of the regular season to end with 44.
The 1992-93-win total remains the sixth-best season in franchise history. The 1998-99 team broke their record when they won 45 games, a mark that was matched the following season. The 2017-18 Maple Leafs had the best regular season in team history with 49 wins.
Super Date for Super Mario
In addition to passing Hull, Lemieux had another pair of big moments on this date. On April 3, 1988, he became just the fourth player in NHL history to score 70 goals in a season against the Whalers. Currently, eight players have scored at least 70 goals in a single season with the most recent occurring when both Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny scored 76 in 1992-93.
On April 03, 1993, Lemieux became just the second player in NHL history to score a goal against 22 teams in one season, when he lit the lamp in the Penguins’ 5-3 win over the Quebec Nordiques.
Odds & Ends
On April 03, 1977, Guy Lafleur extended his NHL-record point-scoring streak to 28 games during the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Lafleur scored 19 goals and 61 points during the 28-game streak. Lafleur also set the Montreal franchise record for the most points in a season with 136, which still stands today. In fact, he has the six best scoring seasons in franchise history.
In that same game, Lafleur’s linemate, Steve Shutt, became the first left wing in team history to score 60 goals in a season. The Canadiens also set an NHL record with their 60th win of the season and their 132 points are still the best ever.
On April 2, 1988, Hakan Loob of the Calgary Flames became the first Swedish-born player to score 50 goals in the NHL. The milestone goal came in a 4-1 win over the Minnesota North Stars. This was the one and only 50-goal season in Loob’s career and he is one of seven players to have one in a Flames uniform.
In more recent history, Patrick Laine scored his 44th goal of the season on April 2, 2018, to help lead the Winnipeg Jets past the Canadiens. He joined Jimmy Carson and Dale Hawerchuk as the only players in league history to score at least 80 goals as a teenager.
One year later, Patrick Kane scored a goal and added an assist in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 shootout win over the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the St. Louis Blues. The two points give him 107 on the season, setting a new career-high. He had 106 points in 2015-16 when he won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies. His teammate Jonathan Toews also set a new career-high with his 35th goal of the season.
Happy Birthday to You
There are 24 former or current NHL players who are celebrating birthdays today. Among them are Bernie Parent (75), Deryk Engelland (38), Stephen Weiss (37), Steve Downie (33), T.J. Brennan (31) and Vinnie Hinostroza (26).