This date in National Hockey League history is full of some of the biggest names ever to play the game. A duo of U.S.-born greats set new records among their countrymen. Plus, perhaps the two most storied hockey cities in the world, Montreal and Toronto, had jam-packed days. Let’s take our daily trip back in time to revisit the best moments from March 14.
Hall of Famers Set the Tone
Gordie Howe became the second player in NHL history to score 500 career goals on March 14, 1962, when he found the back of the net in the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 loss at the New York Rangers. His milestone came on a shorthanded goal scored on Gump Worsley. The Madison Square Garden give Howe a standing ovation as he joined Maurice Richard as the charter members of the 500-goal club.
Two Hall of Fame goaltenders, Bernie Parent and Terry Sawchuk, were on full display, on March 14, 1968, as the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings skated to a 0-0 tie. This was the first scoreless draw in the Flyers’ short franchise history. The game was played in Quebec City after high winds blew off the Spectrum roof earlier in the month.
Paul Coffey scored two goals and added six assists, on March 14, 1986, during the Edmonton Oilers’ 12-3 blowout of the Red Wings. The eight points tied Tom Blandon’s league record for the most points in a game by a defenseman. Glenn Anderson added his fourth hat trick of the season to hit the 50-goal mark for the second time in his career.
Coffey’s former teammate, Wayne Gretzky, set an NHL record by picking up an assist in his 18th straight game, on March 14, 1991, during the Kings’ 6-3 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks. A pair of new franchise records were established on the winning side. Goaltender Ed Belfour earned his 39th win of the season, breaking the team record held by Tony Esposito. Also, Steve Larmer scored twice to give 92 points on the season, the most ever by a Blackhawks right winger.
Mario Lemieux scored his 400th NHL goal on March 14, 1992, but it wasn’t enough in a 6-3 Pittsburgh Penguins’ loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lemieux became the first player in franchise history and the 38th player in the NHL to reach the 400-goal mark.
Peter Stastny scored his 450th and final NHL goal, on March 14, 1995, in the St. Louis Blues’ 6-5 loss to the Oilers. The first 380 goals of his career were scored as a member of the Quebec Nordiques. The next 64 came with the New Jersey Devils before scoring six over the final 23 games of his career with the Blues.
Ron Francis became the first 1000-point scorer in Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise history, on March 14, 2001, with an assist in the Hurricanes’ 6-3 loss to the visiting Montreal Canadiens.
Two New U.S. Records
Joe Mullen became the first U.S.-born player to score 500 NHL goals, on March 14, 1997, during the Penguins’ 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. His goal against Patrick Roy gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead late in the second period before the Avs stormed back with the final four goals of the night. He retired at the end of this season with 502 goals and 1,063 points in 1,062 games. He is currently fifth in all-time goals and overall points among American players.
Jonathan Quick became the all-time leader in shutouts among American goaltenders on March 14, 2016, when he and the Kings blanked the Blackhawks 5-0. This was his 41st career shutout, breaking the three-way tie with Frank Brimsek and John Vanbiesbrouck.
A Historic Date for the Montreal Canadiens
George Hainsworth put the finishing touches on one of the greatest seasons by a goaltender, on March 14, 1929, with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons. This was his 22nd shutout of the season, in 44 games, setting a new NHL record. He also finished the season with the lowest goals-against average in league history at 0.98.
Rookie goaltender Jacques Plante picked up his second straight shutout in as many nights on March 14, 1954, as he led the Canadiens to a 6-0 win at Chicago. Bernie Geoffrion and rookie Jean Beliveau led the scoring with two goals and two assists apiece.
Beliveau hit a personal milestone, 11 years later, on March 14, 1965, when he became the third player in Canadiens team history to score 350 career goals. His tally was the game-winner in a 6-4 victory at the Rangers.
Legendary goaltender Ken Dryden made his NHL debut on March 14, 1971, and leads the Habs to a 5-1 road win at the Penguins. He stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced, with John Stewart becoming the first player to score on the future Hall of Famer.
On March 14, 1977, Dryden was in net and picked up his 34th career shutout in Montreal’s 3-0 win over the Kings. This extended the Canadiens NHL-record home unbeaten streak to 30 games (25-0-5) and was their 11th straight win at home, setting a new franchise best.
Guy Lafleur became the youngest 400-goal scorer in league history, on March 14, 1980, with a pair of goals in the Canadiens’ 4-3 road win at the Winnipeg Jets. He is the fourth player in team history to score 400 career goals.
Toronto Maple Leafs Greats Leave Their Mark
Red Heron scored four goals for the only hat trick of his career and added an assist on March 14, 1940, and Pep Kelly picked up five assists as the Maple Leafs won 8-4 at the Canadiens.
Bob Pulford scored his 100th career goal on March 14, 1962, as the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens, once again, 5-2.
Two years later, Dave Keon scored twice and added three assists as the Maple Leafs won 7-3 against the visiting Rangers.
Darryl Sittler became the all-time leading goal scorer in Maple Leafs history on March 14, 1981, when he scored his 18th career hat trick in a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals. His three goals moved him past Keon, who scored 365 goals with the team.
Rick Vaive scored twice, including his 50th goal of the season for the third straight year, on March 14, 1984, during a 3-3 tie with the Minnesota North Stars.
Finally, on March 14, 2001, Mats Sundin picked up the 500th assist of his NHL career in a 3-2 win over the visiting Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Odds & Ends
The Blackhawks forfeited for the only time in their franchise history, on March 14, 1933, when the team refused to return to the ice after head coach Tom Gorman was ejected from the game. The Bruins were leading 3-2 at the time and were ultimately awarded a 1-0 victory.
Herb Cain had a pair of assists, on March 14, 1994, in Boston’s 6-4 victory over the Blackhawks. This gave him 75 points, breaking the single-season record of 73 set in 1943 by Chicago’s Doug Bentley. He wrapped up the season with 82 points, which remained the NHL record until Howe scored 86 points during the 1950-51 season.
Reggie Leach became the second player in Flyers team history to score 50 goals in a season, on March 14, 1976, during a 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Flames. This extended Philadelphia’s team-record home winning streak to 15 straight games. Three years later, Leach scored his 250th NHL goal and added an assist in a 4-0 win over the Blackhawks.
Dave Taylor scored four goals and added an assist to give him 100 points on the season for the first time in his career, on March 14, 1981, as the Kings won 10-4 over the North Stars.
On March 14, 1983, Paul Reinhart of the Calgary Flames became the 100th player in NHL history to score a penalty-shot goal. He beat New Jersey Devils goaltender Ron Low in a 7-0 win. Don Edwards picked up his 15th career shutout and his first with the Flames.
A year later, Mike Bullard scored twice to become the fourth player in Penguins history to have 50 goals in a season. He also added two assists in a 7-6 loss at the Kings.
Goaltender Felix Potvin recorded his 200th NHL victory on March 14, 2001, while Ziggy Palffy picked up three assists as the Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1, despite being outshot 40-20.
Happy Birthday to You
Vaclav Nedomansky, who turns 77 today, is the lone Hall of Famer out of the 17 NHL players born on this date. The most notable of the rest of the bunch are Darcy Wakluk (55), Erik Gustafsson (29), J.T. Miller (28), Frank Vatrano (27), Anton Blidh (26) and Tyson Jost (23).
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.