The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League NHL. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins played in the Civic Arena, also known to Pittsburgh fans as 'The Igloo', from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009-2010 season. They moved into their new arena, PPG Paints Arena, to begin the 2010-2011 season. They have qualified for six Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Stanley Cup five times - in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, and 2017. Along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Penguins are tied for the most Cup championships among non-Original Six teams. With their Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins became the first back-to-back champions in 19 years since the 1997–98 Detroit Red Wings and the first team to do so since the introduction of the salary cap.
Things are starting to look up for the Pittsburgh Penguins. After a rough first week of the season, the Penguins have battled back to bring their record above .500 to 4-2-0, while aspects of their game that had fans concerned after the first week have sort of diminished. Goaltender Tristan Jarry has seemed to settle […] The post Penguins Weekly: Knocking Off the Early Season Rust appeared first on The Hockey...
Things are starting to look up for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After a rough first week of the season, the Penguins have battled back to bring their record above .500 to 4-2-0, while aspects of their game that had fans concerned after the first week have sort of diminished.
Goaltender Tristan Jarry has seemed to settle in a bit, and as the result of injuries, the defensive corps has been solidified. Here are the takeaways from the second week of the Penguins’ season:
Concerning injuries, the Penguins have received some blessings. First and foremost, was defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph who was called up on Jan. 22.
Joseph, who was a part of the trade that sent Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes in 2019, didn’t need long to make an impact in his NHL debut.
The big-bodied defenseman notched an assist on Teddy Blueger’s game-tying goal in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers. The Penguins won in a shootout 4-3. Joseph became the first Penguin to tally a point in his first NHL game since Derrick Pouliot in 2014.
Aside from the point, Joseph has shown great poise in his first two games and has helped solidify a defensive unit that has been hit hard by injuries, with, as of Sunday, defensemen Juuso Riikola, Marcus Pettersson, Mike Matheson and Zach Trotman all on the shelf.
Adding Joseph wasn’t the only positive for the Penguins as the result of an injury. On Sunday, Evan Rodrigues left the game after a collision with the Rangers’ Filip Chytil in the second period, which forced Bryan Rust to be moved up to the top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.
Before Rodrigues’ injury, the top line was not playing wellt. Besides tallying one point in six games, Rodrigues looked lost and outmatched by Crosby and Guentzel’s skills. Rust made an immediate impact and the Penguins’ top line was their best one on Sunday night.
Rust scored in the second period shortly after Rodrigues’ injury to tie the game at 1-1 before Guentzel scored the go-ahead goal to make it 3-2.
There continue to be expectations that Kasperi Kapanen will move up to the top line, but Rust’s early success might keep him on that line for the foreseeable future, especially if Rodrigues is out for an extended period of time.
Jarry has had a rough start to the season. He gave up 9 goals on 33 shots in his first two starts before he was benched in favor of Casey DeSmith. Since then, Jarry has had a couple of solid outings, starting with a 31-save win against the Rangers on Friday and Sunday night’s 24-save victory in the rematch.
Jarry, who has given up five goals in his last two starts, now looks calmer and more comfortable between the pipes, which is a welcome sight for Penguins fans.
Guentzel notched his 100th career goal (in 249 games played) late in the third period on Sunday, becoming the 10th-fastest player in Penguins history to record 100 goals.
Rust is on a five-game point streak which has pushed his season total up to two goals and four assists.
So, maybe we can stop the early panic that ravaged the Penguins community after a rough start to the season. The Pens now sit in second place in the East Division with eight points, behind only the Washington Capitals’ nine.
Pittsburgh has a two-game series against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and Thursday this week.
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The numbers 200 and 400 showed up numerous times on this date through National Hockey League history. In addition, there were a handful of events and feats to happen for the first time and some memorable All-Star Game moments. It is time for a daily look back in time at all the big stories from […] The post Today in Hockey History: Jan. 25 appeared first on The Hockey...
The numbers 200 and 400 showed up numerous times on this date through National Hockey League history. In addition, there were a handful of events and feats to happen for the first time and some memorable All-Star Game moments. It is time for a daily look back in time at all the big stories from Jan. 25 over the years.
Gordie Howe scored a goal and added two assists, on Jan. 25, 1953, to give him 400 regular-season career points total as the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens skated to a 3-3 tie. Alex Delvecchio had a big night by picking up an assist on all three Detroit goals.
New York Rangers legend Rod Gilbert recorded the 200th assist of his career, on Jan. 25, 1969, in a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Goaltender Ed Giacomin earned his 21st NHL shutout.
Bobby Orr recorded set up two goals to reach the 400-assist mark, on Jan. 25, 1973, in the Boston Bruins’ 4-2 loss to the Red Wings. It took the Hall of Fame defenseman 437 games to get 400 assists.
Rick Middleton scored his eighth career hat trick for his 400th NHL goal, on Jan. 25, 1986, as the Bruins beat the Red Wings 6-3. He became the 25th player in league history to join the 400-goal club.
Ron Francis scored his 200th career goal, on Jan. 25, 1989, in the Hartford Whalers 3-3 tie with the St. Louis Blues.
On that same, Glenn Anderson picked up the 400th assist of his career in the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 home loss to the Blackhawks.
Cam Neely lit the lamp for the 200th time in his career and had added an assist, on Jan. 25, 1990, as the Bruins won 5-2 over the visiting New York Islanders.
On Jan. 25, 1994, Jeremy Roenick scored his 200th NHL goal and added an assist as the Blackhawks won 5-0 in Detroit. Goaltender Eddie Belfour picked up the 20th shutout of his career in the victory.
A 21-year-old Phil Esposito scored his first NHL goal, on Jan. 25, 1964, during the Blackhawks’ 5-3 loss at the Red Wings. He beat fellow future Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuck to find the back of the net for the first time. He scored 74 goals with Chicago before he was traded to Boston in 1967. He retired with 717 goals, the sixth-most in league history.
Islanders defenseman Denis Potvin scored his first NHL hat trick and added an assist, on Jan. 25, 1975, in a 5-5 tie with the Los Angeles Kings.
The Blackhawks played their very first game at the United Center, on Jan. 25, 1995, and beat the Oilers 5-1. Joe Murphy scored the first goal in Chicago’s new home and also added an assist. The Blackhawks averaged 20,833 fans during the 1994-95 season, becoming the first team to average at least 20,000 fans during a regular-season.
Blues rookie goalie Brent Johnson made his first NHL appearance, on Jan. 25, 1999, during an 8-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. This gave St. Louis their first father-son due to play goaltender in franchise history after Brent’s dad, Bob, played 12 games for the team during the 1972-73 season.
On Jan. 26, 2002, Luc Robitaille became the first player in NHL history to score 10 power-play goals in 13 different seasons. His milestone came in the Red Wings 5-3 win over the visiting Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Finally, on Jan. 25, 2014, the NHL played its first regular-season outdoor game in a warm-weather city as the Kings hosted the Ducks at historic Dodger Stadium. A crowd of over 54,000 fans saw the Ducks win this chapter “Freeway Face-Off” 3-0. Goaltender Jonas Hiller was the hero with 36 saves including stopping an Anze Kopitar penalty shot in the first period.
The Minnesota North Stars hosted the NHL All-Star Game, on Jan. 25, 1972, as the East Division beat the West Division 3-2. Orr had the primary assist on Esposito’s game-winning goal on his way to being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Buffalo Sabres star Rick Martin took home MVP honors, on Jan. 25, 1977, as he led the Wales Conference to a 4-3 win over the Campbell Conference, in Vancouver. He scored two goals in the third period, including the game-winner with less than two minutes to play.
Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12, in Columbus, on Jan. 25, 2015, to break multiple All-Star Game records. The 17 goals by Team Toews were the most scored by one team and the 29 combined goals were the most in any All-Star Game.
Team Toews scored a record seven goals in the second period as the 11 scored by both teams was the highest-scoring period in the game’s history. The game also set the records for the fastest back-to-back, three and four goals scored. Team Toews was led by John Tavares and his four goals and Jakub Voracek’s six points (three goals, three assists), both tying All-Star game records.
Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche had to withdraw from the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, on Jan. 25, 2019, due to a foot injury. He was replaced in the Faster Skater competition by U.S. Women’s team legend Kendall Coyne Schofield. She beat Arizona Coyotes’ forward Clayton Keller but was not nearly fast enough Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Bruins traded legendary defenseman Eddie Shore to the New York Americans, on Jan. 25, 1940, for Ed Wiseman and $5,000. He played 10 games for the Americans, scoring two goals and five points, before retiring following the playoffs.
Rookie goaltender Rogie Vachon recorded his second career shutout, on Jan. 25, 1968, as the Canadiens extended their team-record winning streak to eight straight games with a 2-0 victory in Boston.
Lanny McDonald scored his 300th career goal, on Jan. 25, 1982, as the Calgary Flames tied 3-3 with the Bruins.
Paul Coffey picked up an assist, on Jan. 25, 1986, in the Oilers’ 5-2 home win over the Kings. This extended his personal point streak to 28 games, the longest such streak in NHL history by a defenseman.
Mario Lemieux scored a goal and added three assists, on Jan. 25, 1989, as the Pittsburgh Penguins won 5-4 over the Winnipeg Jets. He set a league record by picking up a point on 14 consecutive Penguins’ goals. He held this record for a decade until his teammate, Jaromir Jagr, broke it in 1999.
Mark Messier scored a goal and picked up four assists, on Jan. 25, 1990, in Edmonton’s 7-6 win over the visiting Kings. During the game, Anderson scored the 4,000th goal in Oilers’ franchise history.
Brett Hull scored twice, on Jan. 25, 1991, in the Blues’ 9-4 road win in Detroit. These his 49th and 50th goals of the season in the team’s 49th game, making him the third player in NHL history to score 50 goals in less than 50 games.
On Jan. 25, 1996, the Ottawa Senators set an NHL record with their 16th consecutive home game without a win (0-15-1) in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings. They broke the old record shared by the 1928-29 Blackhawks and 1939-40 Canadiens.
Two of this generation’s greatest players, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, both had big nights on this date in 2018. Ovechkin scored his league-leading 30th goal and picked career assist No. 500 in the Washington Capitals’ 4-2 road win at the Florida Panthers. This made him just the sixth player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in 13 straight seasons.
In Pittsburgh, Crosby assisted on three goals in the Penguins’ 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild. This gave him 1,082 career points, putting him ahead of Jagr for the second-most in franchise history. He currently has 1,268 points which are still quite a few behind Lemieux’s team record of 1,723.
A very talented group of 27 NHL players were born on this date, headlined by Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios, who was born in Chicago on Jan. 25, 1962. Other notable players from this group are Bob Sweeney (57), Esa Tikkanen (56), Paul Ranheim (55), Randy McKay (54), Philippe Myers (24), Noah Hanifin (24) and the late Hall of Famer Fern Flaman.
In a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect Pierre-Oliver Joseph made his NHL debut. Playing with Chad Ruhwedel on the third pairing, Joseph played a simple, effective game. With his smooth skating and strong puck-movement ability, the rookie fits right in with the system implemented by head […] The post Penguins’ Pierre-Oliver Joseph Shines in NHL Debut appeared first on The Hockey...
In a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect Pierre-Oliver Joseph made his NHL debut. Playing with Chad Ruhwedel on the third pairing, Joseph played a simple, effective game. With his smooth skating and strong puck-movement ability, the rookie fits right in with the system implemented by head coach Mike Sullivan.
Joseph played 13:02 of ice time, where he had three shots and three hits. The 21-year-old also had a beautiful assist, where he shot intentionally wide from the blue line to create an opportunity for Teddy Blueger, who then finished the play. With one game under his belt, Joseph will look to build on his young NHL career. His head coach was certainly pleased with his performance.
With injuries decimating the Penguins’ blue line, Joseph will continue to be thrown into the fire, but if his first game is any indication, the young prospect will be a bright spot moving forward.
In the 2015-16 season, Joseph began his major junior career with the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). In the following three seasons, he combined for 110 points in 152 games as captain. The Quebec-native was then drafted at 23rd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Arizona Coyotes.
On June 30, 2019, the Penguins and Coyotes completed a blockbuster trade that sent winger Phil Kessel to the desert. Kessel and a fourth-round pick in 2021 were sent to Arizona for Joseph and Alex Galchenyuk, and both sides were happy with the deal. Kessel was looking for a fresh start, while the Penguins wanted to go younger throughout the roster.
In his first professional season, Joseph played with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL, where he scored 17 points in 52 games. With assistant coach Mike Vellucci on the current staff, Joseph has some familiarity from last year, as Vellucci was his head coach in the AHL.
As Joseph continues to mature and adapt to the NHL game, his offensive and skating skills will flourish. Like any young defenseman, his defensive game will need to be a constant improvement. At about 180 pounds, his strength and ability to battle in front of the net will be tested in the near future.
Through five games, the Penguins have faced multiple injuries on the defensive front. Marcus Pettersson is out week-to-week with an upper-body injury, while Mike Matheson and Juuso Riikola are out longer-term. With the ascendance of Joseph, the Penguins have nine options at defense at the NHL level when healthy. On Friday night, Cody Ceci played with John Marino, while the top paring of Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin continues to lead the way.
If needed, general manager Jim Rutherford has options he can pursue via trade. With Ceci, Ruhwedel, and Joseph playing above their usual spot in the depth chart, the next couple of weeks will be critical. On Friday night against the Rangers, the defense stood its ground, but with seven games in the next 13 days, it will truly be put to the test.
With multiple injuries on the defensive front, Joseph has the opportunity to control his own destiny. If his play remains strong in the games to follow, Sullivan and assistant coach Todd Reirden could have no choice but to keep him in the lineup. Moving forward, the Penguins defensive core could feature Letang, Dumoulin, Marino, Pettersson, and Joseph, a solid group of five. With two years remaining on his entry-level contract, Joseph gives Penguins management flexibility moving forward.
Joseph and the Penguins will look to build on their three-game winning streak when they face the Rangers on Sunday, Jan. 24.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a mediocre start, which the fanbase has become accustomed to over the years. Their 2-2 record shouldn’t be the team’s biggest concern, as the spotlight is shining bright on their defense early on. The injury bug has taken a bite out of the Penguins’ blue line with Michael Matheson, […] The post Penguins Have 3 Good Trade Targets to Shore Up Their Defense appeared first on The Hockey...
The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a mediocre start, which the fanbase has become accustomed to over the years. Their 2-2 record shouldn’t be the team’s biggest concern, as the spotlight is shining bright on their defense early on.
The injury bug has taken a bite out of the Penguins’ blue line with Michael Matheson, Marcus Petterson and Juuso Riikola all on the shelf. Head coach Mike Sullivan provided an update on Thursday regarding their return to and, from all accounts, we shouldn’t expect any of them back any time soon.
Injuries equal opportunity and this season is no different. The Penguins are expected to call Pierre-Olivier Joseph up from the taxi squad to give him a look, but this is a short-term solution for what looks like a long-term problem.
Rutherford loves making early in-season trades as it gives him a chance to ‘set the market’ and, according to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Penguins have been discussing deals with several teams. Don’t expect a top-four or a big-name splash from Rutherford, but expect a trade to happen for a depth defenseman.
Here are three names the Penguins should target as they look to fill the holes on their blue line:
The Penguins and Maple Leafs have a history of making trades, and both teams have been pelted with injuries that could force them to pull the trigger. Dermott fits the Penguins’ style with his high-end speed and skill, and at 24 years old, and only making $874,125, he could make a lot of sense for Rutherford and company.
Dermott is caught in a numbers game in Toronto as the team has been playing with seven defensemen because they have so much depth. The Maple Leafs also have Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren on the outside looking in at the moment, and both former first-round picks are chomping at the bit to get in the lineup.
A deal for Dermott would likely be for a forward as the Maple Leafs are going to be without LW/C Joe Thornton for a few weeks who was injured in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. Perhaps a deal centered around Penguins forward Teddy Blueger could interest both teams.
Before the Colorado Avalanche traded the towering Zadorov to the Blackhawks, Rutherford was reportedly interested in acquiring the rugged defenseman. It turns out it could still happen.
Zadorov is known for being tough to play against and he loves to rough it up with the best of them. Quite frankly, the Penguins could use some of that on their ‘soft’ blue line. Kris Letang, John Marino, and Cody Ceci aren’t known for their aggressive play and Zadorov’s game would be a nice addition to that group. He’s logging over 20 minutes of ice time a night for the Blackhawks, who are in the middle of a rebuild.
Zadorov’s in the final year of his contract, which bodes well for the chances of this deal happening. Rutherford could throw in a trade-sweetener and have Chicago retain some of Zadorov’s $3.2 million cap hit. This would allow the Penguins to get a jump on the rental market and find themselves a capable defenseman who is battle-tested, capable of stepping into their lineup, and staying there when everyone gets healthy.
The Red Wings are not expected to win many games this season as the team continues along with their rebuild. The team has several pending free agents to make decisions on, including Merrill and fellow defenseman Marc Staal.
Merrill would be the cheaper option between the two, not only in cap hit but also in what the Penguins would have to give up in the trade. The 28-year-old Merrill is nothing fancy, but he’s efficient, playing almost 20-minutes a night for the Red Wings.
Merrill signed a one-year deal with Detroit after spending three seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s capable of making the first pass, responsible in his own end, and he’s been a plus-player the past three seasons. He would see significant minutes on the Penguins’ blue line initially, and then down the road, once everyone’s healthy, he could easily slip down to the bottom-pairing and provide the Penguins with the depth they so desperately need.
The Penguins are playing without half of their defensive core at the moment and the management team has no choice but to make a trade. With limited cap space and no 1st, 3rd, 4th, or 6th-round picks at the upcoming draft, Rutherford will need to get very creative to facilitate a deal. Buckle up, Penguins fans, a deal is on the way.
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In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is injury news on a few teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers. Meanwhile, speculation is that the Pittsburgh Penguins are actively looking to add a defenseman. The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to have to make a decision regarding the issues between Pierre-Luc Dubois and John […] The post NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets, Penguins, Capitals, Maple Leafs, Oilers, More appeared first on The Hockey...
In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is injury news on a few teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers. Meanwhile, speculation is that the Pittsburgh Penguins are actively looking to add a defenseman. The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to have to make a decision regarding the issues between Pierre-Luc Dubois and John Tortorella, and how many games will the Washington Capitals players who were caught not wearing masks miss?
Auston Matthews will miss the game on Friday as the Maple Leafs meet up with the Oilers in their second contest of the season. He was forced to leave practice early on Thursday with reports that he wasn’t feeling well and head coach Sheldon Keefe announced on Friday morning he was dealing with upper body soreness and is day-to-day.
With Matthews gone, that’s two-thirds of the Maple Leafs top line out of action and it could mean a complete reshuffling of the lines and a promotion of the John Tavares line from the second line to the top forward trio.
With that, it appears Zach Hyman is going to get a look with Tavares and William Nylander while Wayne Simmonds could get bumped up to the line with Ilya Mikheyev and Alex Kerfoot.
Oilers forward James Neal was given a long look on the first unit power play at Thursday’s team practice and there’s speculation he could slot into the lineup on Friday. If that’s the case, Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now says Neal would need to be activated and one of Joakim Nygard or Devin Shore would need to be put on the Taxi Squad.
The good news here is that neither Nygard nor Shore would need to clear waivers as both have already done so and getting Neal back into the lineup could be a huge boost for the Oilers struggling power play. It is not believed Tippett would switch up the top two lines if Neal slots in, but the veteran winger could take a third or fourth line slot while also getting spot duty on the man advantage.
During Thursday’s Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger of TSN noted that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is looking to find a solution to the potential issues he sees coming as his blueliners keep falling to injury. Mike Matheson is out with an undisclosed issue, Zach Trotman is dealing with a right knee injury and Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola left Tuesday’s game against the Capitals early.
Josh Yohe of The Athletic quotes Rurtherford who noted that it’s still too early to judge the fate of the team on so few games but he might not be able to wait the standard amount of time he likes to before pulling the trigger on a trade. Rutherford said:
“Yes, I usually like to give a team 20 games before I draw any conclusions.
…Usually, you have almost a month to get ready for a season. These guys had a week, plus all of the uncertainty going on in the world right now. That’s tough. We aren’t alone. Everyone is in this boat. But it’s tough and 20 games might not really be long enough to gauge what you’ve got in a team.”source – ‘Penguins trades: Jim Rutherford wants to wait but says he might not be able to’ – Josh Yohe – The Athletic – 01/21/2021
Dreger added that Rutherford is historically always trying to get his shopping out of the way early and that if a trade can be done sooner than later, the trade-happy GM will try. “He’s in the market for the best available defenseman, but in reality, he knows that he is going to have to settle for a third-pairing defenseman.”
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke with the media about the fine levied to the team after a number of players were caught in a hotel room without proper face coverings. He said that the players made a mistake and they have to be better, but also that the players involved in the incident will miss at least four games.
Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Samsonov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov will be all be out of action for most the rest of January and it might be longer as there’s speculation that one of the four players tested positive for the virus, as per Pierre LeBrun.
Ovechkin’s wife was none too pleased with the decision to fine the players involved. She hinted that the NHL was targeting Russians and that Ovechkin and Orlov had antibodies that most people don’t understand. She used her social media account to suggest the NHL was ignoring other instances where players were getting together in other ways or that it’s a stupid rule because any player can just as easily catch something sitting in the locker room or hugging each other after a goal.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella played first-line center Pierre-Luc Dubois all of 3:55 in the game on Thursday versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. The coach sat him all of the second and third period and all eyes are on that situation now, many wondering if this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and if a trade is now inevitable.
Clearly the Dubois situation has become a major distraction for the team and while the player declined to comment after the game, the coach said, “It’s up to the player to show me. If you play the proper way, you’re going to get out there,” he said. He added, “I’ve coached Luc like this for a couple of years, as far as trying to get him to get some growth in his game and growth as a pro.”
Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors
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Two of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the National Hockey League had milestone moments on this date. Also, new franchise highs were established, memorable All-Star Games were played and San Jose had a very busy date. It is time to fire up the THW time machine for our daily trip through the decades. […] The post Today in Hockey History: Jan. 21 appeared first on The Hockey...
Two of the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the National Hockey League had milestone moments on this date. Also, new franchise highs were established, memorable All-Star Games were played and San Jose had a very busy date. It is time to fire up the THW time machine for our daily trip through the decades.
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest offensive player in the history of the NHL and Marcel Dionne is not far behind him. Both of these Hall of Fame talents made their mark on the game on this date.
On Jan. 21, 1985, Dionne scored in the first period as the Los Angeles Kings blew a 7-3 lead and loss to Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers 8-7. His goal was the 611th of his career, putting him ahead of Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull for third place on NHL’s all-time goals list.
Four years later, on Jan. 21, 1989, Gretzky had a goal and three assists during the Kings’ 5-4 loss at the Hartford Whalers. This gave him 1,771 points and made him the second-highest scorer in league history, passing Dionne. Gretzky needed just 743 games to move ahead of Dionne, who scored his 1,770 points in 1.343 games. His performance on this night gave Gretzky 100 points for the 10th straight season, setting a new NHL record.
Defenseman Harry Howell became the first player to appear in 1,000 games in a New York Rangers uniform, on Jan. 21, 1967, in a 6-2 loss at the Boston Bruins. He is still the all-time leader with 1,160 games played for the team. Brian Leetch and Rod Gilbert are the only other two players to appear in 1,000 games with the Rangers.
Brian Sutter became the second player in St. Louis Blues’ franchise history to score 250 goals, on Jan. 21, 1985, in a 6-3 road win at the Detroit Red Wings.
Kevin Lowe became the first player to appear in 1,000 games in an Oilers’ uniform, on Jan. 21, 1997, when he played in a 4-4 tie with the Rangers. He was the 27th NHL player to appear in 1,000 games with one team.
One year later, Guy Hebert became the first goaltender to win 100 games with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim as he beat the visiting Florida Panthers 8-3.
Nicklas Lidstrom became the Red Wings’ all-time leader in games played by a defenseman, on Jan. 21, 2004, when he appeared in his 984th game, breaking the previous record set by Marcel Pronovost. He had an assist in a 2-2 tie with the Mighty Ducks.
Daniel Sedin lit the lamp twice, on Jan. 21, 2016, to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-2 road win at the Boston Bruins. His two goals gave him 348 career goals and put him ahead of Markus Naslund for the most in franchise history.
Defenseman and current general manager Doug Wilson scored his 800th NHL point, on Jan. 21, 1992, in the San Jose Sharks’ 9-2 loss versus the Oilers. The soon-to-be Hall of Famer scored the first 779 points of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks.
On Jan. 21, 1995, rookie Jeff Friesen scored his first career NHL goal. His shorthanded goal was the game-winner, in a 3-2 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Exactly three years later, he became the Sharks’ all-time leading goal scorer in a 7-1 win over the visiting Calgary Flames. He scored his 77th goal with the team to most him ahead of Pat Falloon for the most in San Jose’s brief franchise history.
Sharks played their 1,000th regular-season game in team history, on Jan. 21, 2004, and came away with a 4-2 win at the Phoenix Coyotes.
Joe Thornton moved up the league’s scoring list, on Jan. 21, 2018, during the Sharks’ 6-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. His goal and assists gave him 1,426 points, which put him ahead of Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier for 16th place on the all-time scoring list.
Jan. 21 has been a big day for Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey. First, on this date in 1989, he scored a goal and added two assists to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat his former team, the Oilers, 7-4. This gave him 800 points in his career. This milestone was overshadowed as Mario Lemieux factored in all seven Penguins’ goals by scored two and setting up the other five.
Eight years later, on Jan. 21, 1997, Coffey set up two goals for the Philadelphia Flyers to move past Gordie Howe for second place on the NHL’s all-time assists list with 1,050 in his career. His fellow blueliner, Michel Petit, made his debut with the team, setting a league for playing for his ninth different team in a 3-3 tie with the Dallas Stars.
On Jan. 21, 1969, Howe appeared in his 20th All-Star Game in 21 NHL seasons. He played on a line with Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito but surprisingly did not record a point as East and West Divisions tied 3-3 at the Montreal Forum. This was the first All-Star Game played in the divisional format. Before this, the defending Stanley Cup champions played a team made of the best players from the rest of the league. Howe’s Red Wings teammate Frank Mahovlich won Most Valuable Player honors by scoring two goals.
Penguins center Syl Apps scored twice and won the All-Star Game MVP, on Jan. 21, 1975, as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 7-1, in another game played in Montreal.
Lemieux scored a first-period hat trick, on Jan. 21, 1990, and finished with four goals to lead the Wales Conference to a 12-7 win against Campbell Conference in front of his hometown fans in Pittsburgh. He won the All-Star Game MVP for a third time, becoming the first NHL player to do so.
The Kenora Thistles won their only Stanley Cup championship, on Jan. 21, 1907, when they beat the Montreal Wanderers 8-6.
The Bruins beat the Rangers 14-3, on Jan. 21, 1945, and set a new NHL record for the fastest four goals by one team. Bill Thomas, Frank Mario (twice) and Ken Smith all scored within a span of 1:20 of the second period to lead the offensive explosion.
Howe picked up his 1,100th career point, on Jan. 21, 1962, with a goal in the Red Wings’ 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. This milestone came in his 1,023rd NHL game.
Goaltender Tony Esposito won his team-record eighth straight game, on Jan. 21, 1981, to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago’s eight straight victories also tied a team record set in during the 1971-72 season.
Denis Potvin scored the game-winning goal, on Jan. 21, 1986, to give the New York Islanders a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. This was his 270th career goal, tying him with Bruins legend Bobby Orr for the most in league history scored by a defenseman.
Mats Sundin, played in his second game for the Maple Leafs, on Jan. 21, 1995, after being acquired from the Quebec Nordiques during the previous offseason. He scored his first goal with the team in a 3-2 loss to the visiting Sharks. He went on to become Toronto’s all-time leading goal scorer with 420 goals over the next 13 seasons.
On that same night, rookie Paul Kariya scored his first NHL goal, playing in his second game, as the Mighty Ducks earned a 4-3 road victory at the Winnipeg Jets. This was the first of the future Hall of Famer’s 402 career goals.
Rookie goaltender Patrick Lalime continued his record-setting unbeaten streak, on Jan. 21, 1997, by leading the Penguins to a win 4-2 win over the Flames. His record improved to 14-0-2, the longest streak without a loss to start a career in NHL history.
Mike Milbury stepped down as head coach of the Islanders, on Jan. 21, 1999, and named assistant coach Bill Stewart as his replacement. He did remain on as the team’s general manager.
Later that evening, in his first game against his former team, goaltender Jocelyn Thibault made 33 saves lead the Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the Canadiens to pick up his 10th career shutout.
The Penguins and Blackhawks made history, on Jan. 21, 2001, when they played the first NHL that featured two European-born head coaches. Ivan Hlinka led his Penguins to a 4-0 win in Chicago over Alpo Suhonen’s Blackhawks. Alexei Kovalev recorded his 250th career assist and goaltender Garth Snow recorded his 12th career shutout in the victory.
On that same night in Anaheim, Joe Sakic picked up two assists to give him 700 in his NHL career as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Mighty Ducks 4-2.
Jose Theodore became the first goaltender in Canadiens history to record an assist in two straight games, on Jan. 21, 2002, during a 7-5 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Jim Dowd and Ricard Park set the NHL record for the fastest two goals by one team, on Jan. 21, 2004, in the Minnesota Wild’s 4-2 win over the Blackhawks. Dowd beat Chicago goaltender Craig Anderson to give the Wild a 3-2 lead at 19:44 of the third period. The Blackhawks pulled Anderson for an extra attacker and allowed Park to score in the vacated net just three seconds later.
The Nashville Predators beat the Avalanche 4-1, on Jan. 21, 2019, to give head coach Peter Laviolette his 600th career coaching win. He became the 20th head coach in league history to win 600 games. He joined John Tortorella as the only U.S.-born members in the 600-win club. The 2018-19 season saw three head coaches pick up their 600th victory; Tortorella, Laviolette and Claude Julien.
Canadiens goaltending legend Georges Vezina headlines a group of 30 current and former NHL players born on this date. Other notable members of this bunch are Moe Mantha (60), Brian Bradley (56), Ulf Dahlen (54), Doug Weight (50), Andrei Zyuzin (43), Dany Heatley (40), Ryan Suter (36), Jonathan Quick (35), Darren Helm (34), Brayden McNabb (30), Tom Kuhnhackl (29), Josh Brown (27), K’Andre Miller (21) and Kirby Dach (20).
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