The NHL history made on this date spans nearly a century. The names in today’s column read like a who’s who list of the Hockey Hall of Fame. From the early day of the league in the 1920s and 1930s to some recent milestones, March 19 has it all.
Phil Esposito & Jaromir Jagr Get Connected
Phil Esposito scored a hat trick and added an assist, on March 19, 1972, in the Boston Bruins’ 7-3 win over the Minnesota North Stars. Two of his goals came on the man advantage to set a new single-season NHL record with 27 power-play goals. Goaltender Gerry Cheevers extended his league-record undefeated streak to 30 straight games (23-0-7) with the win.
Six years later, now a member of the New York Rangers, Esposito became just the second player in NHL history to score 1,400 points. He reached this rare milestone with an assist in a 7-7 tie with the North Stars.
Jaromir Jagr made NHL history wearing a Rangers uniform, on March 19, 2007, by becoming the first player to score at least 25 goals in each of his first 16 seasons. His historic goal came with just 33.8 seconds left in the third period to give New York a 2-1 over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
On March 19, 2015, Jagr passed Esposito on the NHL’s all-time goals list by netting No. 718 in the Florida Panthers’ 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. Two years later, he became just the fourth player in league history to play in 1,700 games as the Panthers were defeated 4-0 by the Penguins.
Black & White Memories
Cecil “Babe” Dye became just the second player in NHL history to score 200 career goals on March 19, 1927, then added his 201st in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Tiny Thompson became just the second rookie goaltender to earn a shutout in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut on March 19, 1929, when he and the Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0. Cooney Weiland scored the game’s lone goal; the first postseason contest played at Boston Garden.
Howie Morenz scored a goal and added three assists on March 19, 1932, to lead the Canadiens to a 6-4 overtime win against the Montreal Maroons. The performance gave him 333 career points, passing Cy Denneny as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer.
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One year later, the Blackhawks hosted the Red Wings in the first afternoon game in league history. A crowd of 5,500, including NHL President Frank Calder, watched Detroit earn a 4-2 road win despite a two-goal effort by Mush Marsh.
Rookie goaltender Bill Durnan tied Thompson’s single-season record with his 38th win on March 19, 1944, as the Canadiens beat the Rangers 6-1. The win clinched the 1943-44 regular-season championship for Montreal as they finish a record 25 points ahead of the second-place Red Wings.
Ted Kennedy became the third player in Toronto Maple Leafs franchise history to score 200 goals, on March 19, 1953, in a 4-1 road win at the Canadiens.
Bobby Clarke scored a goal for his 1,000th career point on March 19, 1981, as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Bruins 5-3. Rookie Tim Kerr scored his first career hat trick and added an assist in the victory.
Defenseman Larry Robinson became the fourth player in Canadiens’ history to play in 1,000 NHL games, on March 19, 1986, in a 6-4 loss at the Winnipeg Jets.
Bernie Federko became the first player in St. Louis Blues’ team history to score 1,000 career points on March 19, 1988, with an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Hartford Whalers.
Brian Propp scored two goals to give him 1,000 career NHL points on March 19, 1994, to help lead the Whalers to a 5-3 win over the Flyers.
Calle Johansson scored a goal and added an assist playing in his 1,000th NHL game on March 19, 2001, as the Washington Capitals lost 6-3 to the Rangers. He became just the third Swedish-born player, along with Borje Salming and Ulf Samuelsson, to play 1,000 games.
Hall of Fame Worthy Moments
Goaltender Johnny Bower set a Maple Leafs record with his 33rd win of the season, on March 19, 1960, with a 1-0 shutout at the Blackhawks. He broke the previous record shared by fellow Hall of Famers Turk Broda and Harry Lumley.
Jean Beliveau picked up two assists, on March 19, 1966, during Canadiens’ 6-2 win over the Rangers to give him 900 points in 804 regular-season games.
Gordie Howe scored a goal and added two assists, on March 19, 1969, during the Red Wings’ 4-4 tie with the Oakland Seals. The three-point night gave him 96 on the season, breaking his own record for most points by a right wing he set in 1952-53.
On that same night, Bobby Orr became the second defenseman in NHL history to have a 20-goal season when he scored in the Bruins’ 3-2 win at the Penguins. He tied the single-season record set by Flash Hollett in 1944-45.
Ed Giacomin became the first NHL netminder to record two assists in the same game on March 19, 1972, when the Rangers beat the Maple Leafs 5-3.
In Detroit on this night, rookie Marcel Dionne scored the first hat trick of his career to lead the Red Wings to a 7-6 victory over the Canadiens.
Wayne Gretzky had a goal and an assist to give him 500 career points in 234 games on March 19, 1982, as the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames skated to a 3-3 tie.
Defenseman Larry Murphy scored his 900th career NHL point on March 19, 1994, in the Penguins’ 5-4 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Exactly six years later, as a member of the Red Wings, he played in his 1,550th NHL game. This put him ahead of Alex Delvecchio for second place on the NHL’s all-time games-played list.
Eric Lindros had his first four-goal game on March 19, 1997, and added an assist as the Flyers picked up a 6-3 road win at the Maple Leafs. This was the ninth hat trick of his career.
A year later, Teemu Selanne scored his 258th career goal in his 400th NHL game, as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Flyers tied 3-3. These were the fifth-most goals scored by a player in his first 400 games.
Odds & Ends
Nick Libett became the fifth player to score 200 goals as a member of the Red Wings, on March 19, 1978, in a 6-4 loss at the Colorado Rockies.
On March 19, 1981, the Buffalo Sabres scored an NHL-record nine goals in the second period of their 14-4 blowout of the Maple Leafs. Andre Savard led the way with three goals and three assists, while Gilbert Perreault chipped in with his 12th career hat trick and an assist.
Rick Tocchet scored twice and added two assists on March 19, 1989, in the Flyers’ 8-6 win over the visiting Maple Leafs. This extended his goal-scoring streak to a team-record nine straight games.
Kevin Stevens picked up an assist on March 19, 1992, during the 6-3 Penguins win versus the Quebec Nordiques. This gave him 111 points, setting a new NHL single-season record for U.S.-born players breaking the old mark set by his former teammate Joe Mullen. Also, Tom Barrasso became the 36th goaltender in league history to win 200 games.
Bernie Nicholls scored twice and added three assists, including the 600th assist of his career, on March 19, 1994, to lead the New Jersey Devils to an 8-6 win at the Bruins.
Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-0 on March 19, 2014, to become just the third head coach to win 700 career games. He joined Scotty Bowman and Al Arbour in the exclusive 700-win club. Quenneville won the first 307 games of his career with the Blues, which are the most victories by a head coach in team history.
Roberto Luongo made 28 saves on March 19, 2018, as the Panthers beat the Canadiens 2-0 in Montreal. This was the 76th shutout of his career, tying both Ed Belfour and Tony Esposito for the ninth-most in NHL history.
Alex Ovechkin scored two goals, including the game-winner on this date in 2021 as the Capitals bested the Rangers 2-1. It was his 115th game-winning goal, which placed him only three behind Phil Esposito for third in NHL history behind Jagr and Howe. He also tied Howe for fourth all-time with 147 multigoal games.
Happy Birthday to You
Appropriately, there are 19 current and former NHL players born on this date. The most notable of the March 19 birthday boys are Larry Patey (70), Vladimir Konstantinov (56), Janne Laukkanen (53), Louie DeBrusk (52), Tyler Bozak (37) and Anders Nilsson (33).
*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen