If you like legendary names, then Oct. 19 is the date for you. Some of the greatest players to ever strap on a pair of skates in a National Hockey League game had big moments on this date. There were league debuts, first goals, first assists and first wins among today’s memories.
The Rocket Blasts No. 500
Maurice Richard made NHL history, on Oct. 19, 1957, in the Montreal Canadiens’ 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, at the Forum. A couple of legendary players were part of Richard’s groundbreaking play.
While on a first-period power-play, Jean Beliveau fed the puck to Richard, who fired a wrist shot past goaltender Glenn Hall for the 500th goal of his career.
Richard was the first player in league history to score 500 goals. In fact, at this time, no other player had even scored 400 goals. When Richard retired in 1960, he had 544 goals, the most of all-time. He has since fallen down to 31st on the all-time goals scored list.
Howe & Orr Have Big Days
Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr are two of the biggest names and best players in the history of hockey and they are connected by this date.
On Oct. 19, 1946, Howe picked up the first assist of his NHL career, on Adam Brown’s goal, in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6-3 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also got into his first NHL fight on this night. He finished his legendary career in 1980 with 1,049 assists. Despite having the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” named after him, Howe only got into 22 fights during his 32-season professional career in the NHL and World Hockey Association (WHA).
Exactly 20 years later, on Oct. 19, 1966, Orr made his professional debut for the Boston Bruins. He earned his first career assist in a 6-3 win over the Red Wings. Meanwhile, Howe made history by playing in the first game of his 21st straight season in the NHL, setting a new record. Previously, Dit Clapper and Bill Gadsby held the record by playing in 20 straight seasons.
On the 12-year anniversary of his NHL debut and first career assist, on Oct. 19, 1978, Orr, a member of the Blackhawks at this time, picked up an assist in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota North Stars. This was the 645th and final assist of his Hall of Fame career.
A Trio of Memorable Victories
Just 24 hours after picking up their first victory in franchise history, the Philadelphia Flyers took to the ice at the Spectrum for the first time on Oct. 19, 1967. Bill Sutherland scored the only goal in the Flyers’ 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Goaltender Doug Favell made 17 saves for the first of 18 career shutouts.
Two of the four teams that were part of the 1979 WHA merger picked up their first-ever NHL wins on Oct. 19, 1979. The Edmonton Oilers beat their former WHA rivals, the Quebec Nordiques, 6-3 at the Northlands Coliseum. Blair McDonald picked up his first of four hat tricks in the 1979-80 season. Wayne Gretzky added three assists on the night.
On the same night, the Hartford Whalers beat the Los Angeles Kings by the same 6-3 score. Defenseman Mark Howe, son of Gordie, scored the first two goals of his NHL and added an assist to lead the Whalers’ offensive attack.
Lighting the Lamp for the First Time
Rookie Bob Nevin scored the first goal of his NHL career, on Oct. 19, 1960, in the Maple Leafs’ 3-1 win over the visiting Canadiens. He went on to score 307 career goals during his 18-season career which also saw stops with the New York Rangers, North Stars and Kings
On Oct. 19, 1974, Grant Mulvey scored his first NHL goal in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. At 18 years, one month and two days old, Mulvey became the youngest player since World War II to score a goal in a regular-season game.
Patrick Marleau scored his first NHL goal, on Oct. 19, 1997, as an 18-year-old rookie. The first of his 518 goals for the San Jose Sharks came in a 5-3 loss at the Phoenix Coyotes. He was the youngest player to score a goal since Mulvey’s tally in 1974.
Four years later, on Oct. 19, 2001, Dany Heatley scored the first goal of his NHL career in the Atlanta Thrashers’ 4-3 loss to the visiting Rangers. He went on to put up 26 goals and 67 points on his way to winning the Calder Trophy for being the top rookie of the 2001-02 season.
Nico Hischier had so much fun scoring his first goal, on Oct. 19, 2017, he added a second one in the New Jersey Devils’ 5-4 overtime win at the Ottawa Senators. The number one overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft scored 20 goals in his rookie season.
Odds & Ends
Bill Quackenbush signed his first NHL contract, on Oct. 18, 1942, and joined the Red Wings. The Hall of Fame defenseman went on to 314 games with Detroit before playing another 461 contests with the Bruins.
A record-breaking fall heat wave in Chicago forced the postponement of a game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings, on Oct. 19, 1950, because the ice and the Chicago Stadium would not stay frozen.
On. Oct. 19, 1963, goaltender Gump Worsley earned his 25th career shutout in the Canadiens’ 2-0 win over the Bruins, at the Forum. It was Worsley’s first of 16 shutouts in Montreal.
Netminder Roger Crozier recorded his 24th career shutout, on Oct. 19, 1972, in the Buffalo Sabres’ 6-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert each scored a goal and had three assists, as the Sabres won their fourth straight home game to start the season.
Three years later, on Oct. 19, 1975, Crozier picked up the 200th win off his career in the Sabres’ 5-4 win over the visiting Washington Capitals. He became the 18th goaltender in NHL history to win 200 games. Richard Martin led the offense by scoring his 10th career hat trick, including two goals in 14 seconds. Perreault had four assists in the winning effort.
In a pregame ceremony at the Chicago Stadium, on Oct. 19, 1980, Stan Mikita’s No. 21 was retired by the Blackhawks. Mikita’s number was the first to be retired by the team. Once the game started, Tom Lysiak scored his second career hat trick, and first with Chicago, while adding two assists in the Blackhawks’ 8-4 win over the Capitals.
On that same night, Paul Coffey picked up his first career assist in the Oilers’ 4-2 road win at the Rangers. He went on to rack up 1,135 assists during his Hall of Fame career, the second-most by a defenseman in league history.
Tony Tanti extended his team-record goal-scoring streak to seven straight games, on Oct. 19, 1983, in the Canucks’ 10-7 loss to the Oilers. He scored a total of 10 goals during this scoring streak.
On Oct. 19, 1985, Flyers began a team-record 13-game winning streak with a 7-3 win over the North Stars. The 13 wins in a row are still tied for the fifth-longest streak in NHL history.
A pair of Hall of Fame veterans had big nights for the Rangers, on Oct. 19, 1988, in their 5-1 victory over the Capitals. Guy Lafleur had two assists while Marcel Dionne added another one as the two players combined for 3,000 points in their careers.
Peter Stastny clinched the Nordiques’ 5-3 win over the Blackhawks, on Oct. 19, 1989, with an empty-net goal. The easy tally gave him 1,000 points in his career, becoming the first player born in Europe to hit that plateau in the NHL.
On that same night, goaltender Mike Richter made his first NHL start against the Whalers. He stopped a penalty shot attempt by Kevin Dineen on his way to a 7-3 victory.
Terry Yake scored the first hat trick in the history of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, on Oct. 19, 1993, to lead them to a 4-2 win at the Rangers. This was the first road game the team ever played.
Adam Oates scored two goals and added a pair of assists, on Oct. 19, 2000, as the Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2. With the performance, he became the 12th player in NHL history to record 900 assists.
Happy Birthday to You
A total of 16 current and former NHL players have been born on this date. The most notable of the lot are Dale Tallon (70), Zdeno Ciger (51), Boyd Gordon (37), Calvin Petersen (26) and the late Hall of Fame goaltender, Roy Worters.