THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Dec. 25
1930: The Detroit Falcons (renamed the Red Wings in 1932) defeat the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 10-1. The 10 goals are the most scored by any team on Christmas Day. The two-team high is 12 in an 8-4 Boston Bruins victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970.
1956: Gordie Howe celebrates Christmas with the biggest scoring night of his NHL career.
Howe has six points (three goals, three assists) for the Detroit Red Wings in an 8-1 victory against the New York Rangers at Olympia Stadium. Two of the three goals come in the third period, when the Red Wings blow the game open by scoring six times. The hat trick is the 12th of Howe’s 26-season NHL career.
1965: Henri Richard sets up three goals for the Montreal Canadiens before scoring the game-winner in a 4-3 victory against the visiting Red Wings. Richard has an assist in each period before scoring the winning goal with 2:11 remaining in the third. It’s the last Christmas Day game played at the Forum.
1968: Alex Delvecchio of the Red Wings passes Maurice Richard for third place on the NHL all-time scoring list when he gets two assists in a 6-3 loss to the Penguins at Civic Arena. The two assists give Delvecchio 967 points; he trails Howe (1,629) and Jean Beliveau (1,050).
1971: The six games on the schedule mark the last time the League plays on Christmas Day. In what goes down as the final NHL game to be played on Dec. 25, the California Golden Seals defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Stan Gilbertson’s empty-net goal is the final one to be scored on Christmas.
Earlier in the evening, the Rangers defeat the Minnesota North Stars 2-1 at Met Center, improving their Christmas record to 25-11-2, the best of any NHL team.