Feb. 4 NHL History
1943: Frank Calder, president of the NHL since its inception in 1917, dies of a heart attack in a Montreal hospital. He’s replaced on an interim basis by Red Dutton.
1961: The start of the game between the Rangers and Boston Bruins at Boston Garden is delayed for two hours because the Rangers are late in arriving because of a snowstorm.
Though the Rangers dress 13 players, Andy Hebenton and Harry Howell score 34 seconds apart early in the second period and Gump Worsley makes the lead stand up for a 2-1 victory.
1971: Gilles Villemure makes 30 saves and Rod Gilbert scores in the second period in the Rangers’ 1-0 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Olympia Stadium. It’s the last 1-0 road win for the Rangers until Feb. 27, 1993, when Mike Richter makes 29 saves in a victory against the Edmonton Oilers.
1989: Wayne Gretzky scores three goals for his 44th NHL hat trick and first with the Los Angeles Kings in a 5-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at the Forum in Inglewood, California. He gets a little help: One goal is knocked into the Buffalo net by a member of the Sabres, and he is awarded an empty-net goal with one second remaining when officials rule that a Buffalo player intentionally knocked the net off its moorings.
Exactly 10 years later, Gretzky scores his 1,071st professional goal (regular season and playoffs, including the NHL and World Hockey Association) in the New York Rangers’ 8-4 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden. It ties him with Gordie Howe for total career goals scored.
1997: Mario Lemieux scores his 600th goal to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-4 win against the visiting Vancouver Canucks. The milestone goal, into an empty net, comes in his 719th game, one more game than Gretzky needed to get his 600th goal. Lemieux becomes the first player to score 600 goals while spending his NHL career with one team.
2003: Jaromir Jagr scores his 500th NHL goal and completes a natural hat trick when he scores 7:19 into the second period of the Washington Capitals’ 5-1 road win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jagr, playing in his 928th NHL game, becomes the 33rd player to score 500 goals. It’s Jagr’s 11th NHL hat trick, and he reaches 30 goals in a season for the 12th time in his 13 NHL seasons.
Exactly 13 years later, Jagr becomes the sixth NHL player with 1,100 assists. He reaches the milestone by setting up Brandon Pirri’s first-period goal in the Florida Panthers’ 6-3 win against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.