This hasn’t been the busiest day in National Hockey League history, but it still has its charm. One of the earliest games played for the Stanley Cup provided one of the most-lopsided outcomes we will ever see and an offensive outburst that will never be matched. Eight seems to be the magic number of the day, and the 1960s gave us some great memories. Let’s fire up our hockey time machine for our daily look back.
The Super 60s
Gordie Howe became the NHL’s all-time leading scorer on Jan. 16, 1960, in the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. His goal and assist gave him 947 career points to put him ahead of Montreal Canadiens’ legend Maurice Richard. He remained the league’s greatest scorer until Wayne Gretzky broke his mark of 1,850 points in 1989.
On the same night, Bronco Horvath extended his point-scoring streak to 10 straight games with a goal in the Boston Bruins’ 8-2 loss at the Canadiens.
Red Kelly scored his 250th career goal on Jan. 16, 1965, in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 loss to the visiting Red Wings. At the time, this put him 14th on the league’s all-time goals list.
Bobby Hull had his second four-goal night of the season on Jan. 16, 1966, but the Blackhawks still lost 6-5 to the New York Rangers. This was the 17th hat trick of his remarkable career as he became the first player in franchise history to score 300 goals.
Two years later, on Jan. 16, 1968, the Maple Leafs beat the NHL All-Stars 4-3 at Maple Leaf Gardens. This was the last All-Star Game that featured the defending Stanley Cup champion take on a team made up of the best players from the rest of the league.
The Great Eights
Eight was the number of the day over the years. On Jan. 16, 1975, the Los Angeles Kings tied an NHL record with their eighth straight road with a 4-1 win in Boston. Appropriately, eight years later, on Jan. 16, 1983, rookie goaltender Bob Froese recorded his first career shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers tied the Kings’ record by beating the Rangers 4-1 in New York.
From teams who won eight road games in a row to the man who eventually became known as “The Great Eight.” On Jan. 16, 2006, Alex Ovechkin continued to dazzle during his rookie season by scoring one of the most memorable goals in league history.
Ovechkin tried to power through Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Paul Mara and was knocked down to the ice. However, he never lost track of the puck and swiped the puck past goaltender Brian Boucher while laying on his back. This was the final goal in the Washington Capitals’ 6-1 victory.
Early Hockey History
One of the craziest hockey games ever played took place on Jan. 16, 1905, with the Stanley Cup on the line. Frank “One-Eyed” McGee scored an unreal 14 goals as the Ottawa Silver Sevens crushed the Dawson City Nuggets 23-2. The Nuggets made the 4,000-mile trip from the Yukon to Ottawa over several weeks by boat, train, and even dog sled! The Silver Sevens kept the Stanley Cup by sweeping the best-of-three series and outscoring Dawson City 32-4.
Back on Jan. 16, 1934, the NHL played a full 10-minute overtime that did not end when the first goal was scored. On this night, Ken Doraty scored the only overtime hat trick in league history to lead the Maple Leafs to a 7-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Two years later, on Jan. 16, 1936, Bert Connelly scored the first penalty-shot goal in Rangers’ history. It was the only goal in their 1-0 win in Toronto as goaltender Dave Kerr earned his 20th career shutout.
Hall of Fame Heroes
Johnny Bucyk became the eighth player in NHL history to score 450 career goals on Jan. 16, 1974, in the Bruins 5-5 tie with the Blackhawks.
Speaking of the Blackhawks, on Jan. 16, 1989, Denis Savard picked up his 600th career assist in a 2-2 draw with the visiting Edmonton Oilers. He joined Stan Mikita as the only other player in franchise history to record 600 helpers with the team.
Paul Coffey had two assists on Jan. 16, 1990, to become the fourth defenseman in NHL history to score 900 career points in the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Mario Lemieux scored his 40th goal of the season on Jan. 16, 1996, in the Penguins’ 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. This gave him 100 points for the ninth time in his career. Only Gretzky had more 100-point seasons with 14.
Dino Ciccarelli scored a goal on Jan. 16, 1999, and Sean Burke earned his first shutout of the season as the Florida Panthers beat the New York Islanders 1-0. his was Ciccarelli’s 1,200th and final point of his NHL career.
Steve Yzerman became the seventh player to ever score 1,700 points on Jan. 16, 2004, with an assist in the Red Wings’ 3-3 tie with the Coyotes. He scored a total of 1,755 points before retiring in 2006.
Odds & Ends
On Jan. 16, 1970, the new and unnamed Buffalo franchise hired George “Punch” Imlach as their first general manager and head coach. This announcement came nine months before the team’s first NHL game.
Glenn Healy made 51 saves on Jan. 16, 1990, to lead the Islanders to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. At the time, this was the second-most saves ever made in a shutout by an NHL goaltender. Only Hall of Famer Jacques Plante had more when he made 52 saves on Nov. 13, 1995.
Dave Taylor played in his 922nd game on Jan. 16, 1991, as the Kings lost 4-3 at the Hartford Whalers. This put him one game ahead of his former linemate Marcel Dionne for the most played in franchise history.
That same night, Kirk Muller scored a goal to become the first player in New Jersey Devils’ franchise history to score 500 points. His milestone came in a 2-2 tie with the Blackhawks.
Steve Larmer scored a third-period shorthanded goal on Jan. 16, 1993, to help Chicago to a 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs. This made him the third player in team history to score 300 goals in a Blackhawks uniform.
Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves on Jan. 16, 2018, to lead the Rangers to a 5-1 win versus the Flyers. This gave him 20 wins for the 13th straight season, becoming the first goaltender in league history to do so.
Meanwhile, on that same evening in Detroit, Ken Hitchcock became the fourth person in NHL history to coach 1,500 regular-season games. He celebrated in style with his 807th victory when his Dallas Stars beat the Red Wings 4-2.
Happy Birthday to You
A group of 22 current and former NHL players were born on this date. The most notable Jan. 16 birthday boys are Lou Angotti (84), Stephen Leach (56), Brenden Morrow (43), Matt Duchene (31), Jason Zucker (30), Derrick Pouliot (28), Mikko Lehtonen (28), and the late John Sorrell.
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.