Some of the most legendary players in National Hockey League history added to their resumes on this date. Detroit and Montreal both proved why they are two of the game’s most historic cities on Oct. 29, while fans in Pittsburgh got to witness greatness on multiple occasions.
Super Day for Mario
Mario Lemieux’s Hall of Fame career was full of amazing performances and personal milestones. He had three big moments on this date over the years.
First, on Oct. 29, 1988, Lemieux scored a goal and added three assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 win at the Montreal Canadiens. In 42 career games against his hometown team, he had 27 goals and 68 points.
On Oct. 29, 1992, Lemieux lit the lamp twice, in the Penguins’ 6-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues, to extend his personal goal-scoring streak to 11 straight games. He also picked up two assists to complete a four-point night. Rich Sutter had for assists to lead the Blues offense. Big news was made after the game when head coach Bob Plager resigned. He was eventually replaced by Bob Berry.
Finally, on Oct. 23, 2003, Lemieux became just the sixth player in NHL history to score 1,700 points. The milestone came with an assist during a 4-4 tie with the visiting New York Islanders. The only player to score 1,700 points faster than Lemieux was Wayne Gretzky.
Motown Legends Grab the Spotlight
Some of the greatest players in the storied history of the Detroit Red Wings left their mark on this date.
Staring on Oct. 28, 1947, when Gordie Howe wore No. 9 for the first time in a 5-2 win at the Chicago Blackhawks. He originally wore No. 17 during his rookie season of 1946-47.
Rookie Alex Delvecchio had two assists, on Oct. 29, 1951, in the Red Wings’ 2-2 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored 15 goals and 37 points during his first season in the NHL.
On Oct. 29, 1955, Ted Lindsay scored his 270th career goal to set a new NHL career scoring record for left wingers, in a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens. He broke the record of 269 goals set by Aurel Joliat, who starred in Montreal between 1922 and 1938.
Both Howe and Delvecchio hit major milestones, on Oct. 29, 1970, in the Red Wings’ 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Howe picked up two helpers to become the first player in NHL history to record 1,000 career assists. One of those assists came on Delvecchio’s 400th career goal as he became just the fifth player to ever reach that plateau.
Memorable Date in Montreal
Floyd Curry scored the one and only hat trick of his career, on Oct. 29, 1951, in a 6-1 victory over the New York Rangers. He picked the perfect night to score a natural hat trick in the second period as the future Queen of England, Princess Elizabeth, and Duke of Edinburgh were in attendance at the Forum.
One year later, on Oct. 29, 1952, Maurice Richard scored two goals in a 7-5 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs. His pair of tallies gave him 324 career goals, which, at the time, tied him with Nels Stewart for the most all-time in league history. He also recorded two assists for a four-point game.
On Oct. 29, 1960, Bernie Geoffrion had three assists to lead the Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Bruins. He finished the 1960-61 season with 50 goals and a career-high 95 points. He won the Hart Trophy for being voted the league’s most valuable player and the Art Ross Trophy for finishing as the top scorer.
The legendary Jean Beliveau became the first Canadiens player to play in 1,000 games, on Oct. 29, 1969, during a 4-1 loss at the Minnesota North Stars. His 1,125 games are now the fourth-most in franchise history behind Henri Richard (1,258), Larry Robinson (1,202) and Bob Gainey (1,160).
Guy Lafleur scored three times in the first period, on Oct. 29, 1977, to become the 11th player in franchise history to score 250 goals. The milestone goal came in the Canadiens’ 5-3 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings
Odds & Ends
Glenn Hall of the Blackhawks became the seventh goaltender in league history to win 250 games, on Oct. 29, 1963, with a 5-1 victory over the Red Wings. Kenny Wharram led the scoring with his first career hat trick.
On Oct. 29, 1974, Bob Nystrom scored late in the third period to help the Islanders earn a 1-1 tie with the Rangers. This was the first point the Islanders ever earned at Madison Square Garden.
Lanny McDonald scored three goals and added an assist, on Oct. 29, 1977, for his fourth career hat trick. Darryl Sittler also had a goal and three assists as the Maple Leafs beat the visiting Red Wings 7-4.
Dale Hunter scored the first goal of his NHL career, on Oct. 29, 1980, in a Quebec Nordiques’ 3-3 tie with the visiting Vancouver Canucks. He retired in 1999 with 323 goals and 1,020 points.
Kirk Muller scored his first NHL hat trick and added three assists, on Oct. 29, 1986, to establish a New Jersey Devils’ single-game franchise record with six points, in an 8-6 win at the Penguins.
The Maple Leafs named Tom Watt as their new head coach, on Oct. 29, 1990, replacing Doug Carpenter, who had been fired three days earlier.
The Devils played the first-ever NHL game at the Raleigh Arena versus Carolina Hurricanes, on Oct. 29, 1999, and came out with a 4-2 win. Ken Daneyko made his history when he took to the ice as he became the first player to ever appear in 1,000 games for the Devils.
On that same night, Doug Gilmour scored the 400th goal of his career in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 victory at the Red Wings.
Theo Fleury hit a major milestone, on Oct. 29, 2001, in the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. He picked up two assists to reach 1,000 points in his career.
Jocelyn Thibault became the 54th goaltender in NHL history to win 200 career games, on Oct. 29, 2002, in a 3-2 Blackhawks’ win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tyler Arnason scored the game-winning goal with 6.2 seconds remaining in the third period.
On this date in 2009, Alex Ovechkin tied the league record for the most multi-goal games during the month of October. He scored two twice in the Washington Capitals’ 4-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers for his sixth game of the month with more than one goal.
Dwayne Roloson, on Oct. 29, 2011, made 28 saves to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 1-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. It was the 29th shutout of his career and improved the 42-year-old netminder’s all-time record against the Thrashers/Jets to 10-0-0.
Happy Birthday to You
A very impressive group of 27 current and former NHL players share a birthday today, including a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.
Islanders legend Denis Potvin was born on this day, in 1953, in Ottawa. He spent his entire career in New York, scoring 310 goals and 1,052 points in 1,060 games. When he retired in 1998, he was the highest-scoring defenseman in league history. He’s still the seventh on that list.
Mike Gartner was born on Oct. 29, 1959, also in Ottawa. He played in 1,432 games for five different teams during his 19-season career. Known for being one of the fastest players in the game, he is seventh all-time in goals with 708.
Other notable players born on this date include Joel Otta (59), Eric Messier (47), Eric Staal (36), Dmitry Kulikov (30), Nikita Zaitsev (29), Oscar Lindberg (29), Colin Miller (28), Mikko Rantanen (24) and Vince Dunn (24).
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.