December 4 NHL History
1909: The oldest NHL franchise still in operation is officially founded when J. Ambrose O’Brien creates the Club de Hockey Canadien, known to fans for more than a century as the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are part of the National Hockey Association, the NHL’s predecessor, and finish 2-10-0 in their first season.
1943: Montreal’s Bill Durnan extends his NHL record for the longest unbeaten streak by a rookie goalie from the start of his career to 14 games (12-0-2) when the Canadiens defeat the Red Wings 8-2 at the Forum. Durnan’s record stands for more than 50 years until Patrick Lalime breaks it in 1996-97 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gerry Heffernan scores four goals and has an assist for the Canadiens.
1960: The Toronto Maple Leafs begin a seven-game road winning streak with a 5-2 victory against the Boston Bruins. The winning streak includes at least one victory at each of the other five NHL arenas.
1968: Gordie Howe becomes the first member of the NHL’s 700-goal club.
Howe reaches the milestone when he takes a pass from Frank Mahovlich and beats goaltender Les Binkley with a low shot 7:13 into the Detroit Red Wings’ 7-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Civic Arena.
The goal comes two games after Howe gets No. 699 against Glenn Hall of the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 28.
So was No. 700 a big thrill?
“I really believe my first National Hockey League goal provided a bigger thrill,” Howe says of his goal against Turk Broda of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 16, 1946.
Howe finishes his NHL career with 801 goals.
1988: Jimmy Carson of the Edmonton Oilers becomes the third player in NHL history to have six hat tricks before age 21. Carson scores three times and has an assist in the Oilers’ 10-6 victory against the New York Rangers at Northlands Coliseum. It’s his first hat trick with the Oilers, who acquire him from the Los Angeles Kings on Aug. 9, 1988, as part of the Wayne Gretzky trade. Carson’s performance overshadows a big night for New York’s Guy Lafleur, who matches an NHL career high with four assists.
1995: Mark Messier becomes the seventh player in NHL history to reach 1,400 points when he has a goal and two assists in the Rangers’ 5-1 victory against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Madison Square Garden.