THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Oct. 12
1972: Germain Gagnon scores with 1:09 remaining in the third period to give the New York Islanders the first victory in franchise history, 3-2 against the Los Angeles Kings at Nassau Coliseum. Rookie Billy Harris, the No. 1 pick in the 1972 NHL Draft, has the first two goals for the Islanders.
1976: Don Murdoch of the New York Rangers ties the NHL record for most goals in a game by a rookie when he scores five times in a 10-4 win against the Minnesota North Stars at Met Center. Murdoch matches the mark set by Toronto’s Howie Meeker on Jan. 8, 1947.
1977: The Montreal Canadiens extend their unbeaten streak in season-openers to 15 games (11-0-4) by defeating the North Stars 7-3 at the Forum. Defenseman Guy Lapointe has a goal and two assists for Montreal.
1980: The 100,000th goal in NHL history is one of the easiest. Toronto forward Wilf Paiement scores into an empty net with 14 seconds remaining to wrap up a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum. The milestone goal comes in the NHL’s 64th season. It’s part of a career year for Paiement, the No. 2 pick in the 1974 NHL Draft, who finishes with 40 goals and 97 points.
1996: Washington Capitals center Dale Hunter became the first player in NHL history to score 300 goals and be assessed 3,000 penalty minutes in his career. He scores goal No. 300 in Washington’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
2005: Alex Ovechkin scores a goal to become the first player in Capitals history to get points in each of his first five games with the team. The milestone comes in a 7-2 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
2006: Ryan Smyth breaks one of Wayne Gretzky‘s team records when he scores three goals in a 2:01 span early in the third period to help the Edmonton Oilers defeat the San Jose Sharks 6-4 at Rexall Place. Smyth’s fifth career hat trick breaks Gretzky’s team record for fastest three goals by 17 seconds.
2016: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs becomes the first player in the modern era to score four goals in his first NHL game.
Matthews, the first player taken in the 2016 NHL Draft, makes history when he scores his fourth goal of the game with three seconds remaining in the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 lead against the Ottawa Senators. He surpasses the record of three goals in an NHL debut, held by four players.