One of the greatest legends of the National Hockey League had a hat trick of milestones on this date. Also, there are some fond memories in Boston while both coaches and players alike reached some major personal milestones. There was even a record set for playing for most teams in one career.
Mr. Hockey Rules the Day
Of all dates in Gordie Howe’s long and illustrious career, Nov 27 ranks up there among the best of them. He reached three major milestones on this date in a nine-season span.
Starting on Nov. 27, 1960, when Howe entered the Detroit Red Wings game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with 999 career points. He picked up an assist on Howie Glover’s first-period goal to become the first player in NHL history to score 1,000 points. It took Howe 938 games to reach this milestone. Goaltender Terry Sawchuk picked up his 83rd career shutout in a 2-0 win.
Five years later, on Nov. 27, 1965, scored his 600th goal in a 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Just like with 1,000 points, he was the first player to join the 600-goal club.
Finally, on Nov. 27, 1969, Howe had a pair of assists to help the Red Wings earn a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. His two helpers made him the first player to ever score 1,700 career points. He needed 1,567 games to hit the 1,700-point mark.
Bean Town Memories
This date has been a very unique one in the history of the Boston Bruins. On Nov. 27, 1941, they tied an NHL record by scoring four goals during overtime to beat the Brooklyn Americans 6-2. This game was played back when overtime was a full 10 minutes and not sudden death like we are used to today.
Five years later, on Nov. 27, 1946, the Bruins defense was hit hard by injuries. When Jack Crawford went down, assistant coach Dit Clapper, who retired at the end of the previous season, put on the uniform again to play defense. Fans at the Boston Garden welcomed him back with a standing ovation when he took to the ice. The Bruins beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on this night. Clapper played six games on defense, despite being a right winger for most of his playing career.
Jumping ahead 46 years, to Nov. 27, 1992, when the Bruins extended their home winning streak over the Hartford Whaler to nine games with a 5-4 overtime victory. Future Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque led the way with a goal and three assists.
400 is the Magic Number for Sundin
Nov. 27 and the number 400 will always be connected for the great Mats Sundin. On this date in 1999, he picked his 400th career point, by scoring two goals in the Maple Leafs 5-2 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
Exactly eight years later, on Nov. 27, 2007, Sundin became the first player to ever score for 400 goals wearing a Maple Leafs sweater. Goal No. 400 came with just 17.6 second remaining in the third period to force overtime. However, Toronto would lose 4-3, in the shootout, to the rival Canadiens. Sundin scored 420 goals during his time with the Maple Leafs, which are still the most in franchise history.
On Nov. 27, 1991, Paul Coffey scored and added three assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to an 8-4 win over the visiting New Jersey Devils. The victory gave head coach Scotty Bowman 750 in his legendary career. It was a bittersweet night at the Civic Arena, as the team held a 10-minute candlelight tribute to former head coach Bob Johnson, who died the previous day. Johnson led the Penguins to the 1991 Stanley Cup that spring. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in August, before passing away on Nov. 26, 1991.
In a far less somber victory, on Nov. 27, 2015, Dave Tippett earned his 500th career win when the Arizona Coyotes knocked off the Calgary Flames 2-1. He became the 22nd head coach in league history to win 500 games, thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s overtime goal.
Odds & Ends
Rod Gilbert played in his first NHL game, on Nov. 27, 1960, as the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks skated to a 3-3 tie at Madison Square Garden. He went on to play 18 seasons with the Rangers and is still the franchise leader with 406 goals and 1,021 points.
Jacques Lemaire had the game-winning goal, on Nov. 27, 1974, as the Canadiens beat the Penguins, in Pittsburgh, 3-2. This started an NHL-record 23-game road unbeaten streak which saw the Habs go 14-0-9 away from Montreal.
On that same night, Jean Ratelle became the second player to score 300 goals as a member of the Rangers, in a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs.
A decade later, on Nov. 27, 1984, the Oilers cruised to a 7-1 road victory in Toronto. Wayne Gretzky led the charge with his 30th career hat trick and two assists for a five-point night. Mike Krushelnykski did his part with two goals and two assists.
Speaking of hat tricks on this night, Alain Lemieux scored the one and only hat trick of his career to lead the St, Louis Blues to a 6-1 win at the Vancouver Canucks. Alain is the older brother of NHL legend Mario Lemieux. He played in a total of 118 games for the Blues and Quebec Nordiques and one with his brother and the Penguins. He scored 28 goals and 72 points in his NHL career.
History was made, on Nov. 27, 1988, when the Rangers beat the New York Islanders 5-3. John Vanbiesbrouck became just the fifth goaltender in Rangers’ team history to win 100 games. Bryan Trottier had two assists, in the losing effort, to become the eighth player in league history to score 1,300 career points.
The Blackhawks used their star power, on Nov. 27, 1992, to roll to an 8-1 win in Edmonton. Steve Larmer, playing in his 824th consecutive game, scored two goals and added four assists. Jeremy Roenick also had four assists while defenseman Chris Chelios scored his 100th career goal.
Larry Murphy had an assist, on Nov. 27, 1993, during the Penguins’ 2-2 tie with the Ottawa Senators. This moved ahead of Bruins legend Bobby Orr for sixth place on the all-time assist list for defensemen, with 646.
When Michel Petit took his first shift for the Coyotes, on Nov. 27, 1997, he became the first player in NHL history to play for 10 different teams. The defenseman played in 16 NHL seasons. His longest sting with one team was 224 games, over six seasons, with the Canucks.
Joe Sakic scored a goal and added an assist to become the 34th NHL player to score 1,200 career points, on Nov. 27, 2001, as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 4-1.
Roberto Luongo won his 200th game for the Panthers, on Nov. 27, 2017, by beating the Devils 3-2. Thanks to 252 victories with the Canucks, Luongo became just the second goaltender to ever record 200 wins with two different teams. Patrick Roy won 289 games with the Canadiens before winning another 262 with the Avalanche.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 17 current and former NHL players have been able to call Nov. 27 their birthday. The best players of the lot are Pierre Mondou (65), Chris Kotsopoulos (62), Garry Valk (53), Chad Kilger (44), Beau Bennett (29), Anton Forsberg (28) and Filip Zadina (21).
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.