On this date in National Hockey League History, one legendary player drew even with another all-time great. Plus, five Russian-born players hit the ice together for the first time in league history while there was plenty of personal milestones reached on Oct. 27. Let’s hop aboard the THW time machine so we can enjoy all the great memories made on this date.
One Legend Ties Another
Much like with Wayne Gretzky, it is hard to find a date in hockey history where Gordie Howe wasn’t a part of it.
On Oct. 27, 1963, Howe scored the 544th goal of his legendary career in the Detroit Red Wings’ 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. His milestone goal came on a third-period power play against fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Gump Worsley. The goal tied him with Canadiens’ hero Maurice Richard, who retired three years earlier, for the most goals in NHL history.
Five years later, on Oct. 27, 1968, Howe had two goals and an assist in the Red Wings’ 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. At 40 years old, he became the oldest player in league history to have at least one point in each of his first five games of a season.
The “Russian Five” Debuts
Staying in Detroit, Red Wings head coach Scotty Bowman made history on Oct. 27, 1995. This was the first game where he put Viacheslav Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Igor Larionov, Sergei Fedorov, and Vyacheslav Kozlov all on the ice together. All five of these stars had played for the famed Red Army team in the Soviet Union and became known as the “Russian Five.”
This line clicked immediately. Fedorov led the team with 107 points during the 1995-96 season with Kozlov and Larionov on his wings, as both veterans scored over 70 points. Even the two defenders chipped in, with Konstantinov finishing the season with a plus-60 rating and Fetisov matching his career-high with 42 points. This group was a huge part of its 62-win regular season before they lost in the Western Conference Final to the Colorado Avalanche.
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In the following year’s rematch with the Avs in the Western Conference Final, the Fedorov forward line combined for nine goals and 17 points in the six-game victory. The Red Wings went on to sweep the Philadelphia Flyers for their first Stanley Cup since 1955.
On Oct. 27, 1971, the Vancouver Canucks recorded their first shutout in team history, a 0-0 tie at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Canucks goaltender Dunc Wilson earned the first shutout of his career, while this was the 12th of Bernie Parent’s career and first with Maple Leafs.
The Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 on Oct. 27, 2000, for their first win on home ice in franchise history. Goaltender Marc Denis made 32 saves while Jamie Heward’s first goal with the team proved to be the game-winner.
The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Avalanche 7-0 on Oct. 27, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena. Goaltender Oskar Dansk stopped all 32 shots he faced to give the Golden Knights their fifth straight win and the first shutout in franchise history. Vegas got goals from seven different players in 26 minutes.
A First Time for Everything
Harry Lumley became the first Red Wings goaltender in franchise history to win 100 games, on Oct. 27, 1948, in a 3-2 victory at the New York Rangers.
On Oct. 27, 1962, Rod Gilbert scored his first career NHL goal, to go along with two assists, in a Rangers’ 5-1 win at the Maple Leafs. He scored 406 goals for the Blue Shirts, which are still the most in team history.
Hall of Famer Bob Gainey scored the first of his 239 career goals on Oct. 27, 1972, in a 4-2 Canadiens’ win over the Minnesota North Stars, at the Forum.
That same night, New York Islanders’ blueliner Denis Potvin scored his first two NHL goals in a 3-2 win over the Rangers. He retired in 1988 with 310 goals, which, at the time, where were the most scored by any defenseman in league history.
First-year forward Joe Sakic scored a goal on Oct. 27, 1988, in the Quebec Nordiques 6-2 loss at the Boston Bruins. He became the first rookie ever to register at least one point in each of his first 11 games in the league.
Ken Hodge, Jr., son of the former Bruins star Ken Hodge, made his debut in Boston on Oct. 27, 1990, in a 5-4 win over the Blackhawks. The Bruins did all their scoring in the third period, led by Cam Neely’s goal and two assists. Hodge scored 30 goals during the 1990-91 season, but he only played in 67 NHL games, 42 with the Bruins, following this breakthrough performance.
On this date in 2005, Manny Legace became the first goaltender to win 10 games during October in the Red Wings’ 5-2 victory over the visiting Blackhawks. Mathieu Schneider led the way offensively with two goals while Legace made 21 saves.
Plenty of Personal Milestones
Reggie Leach scored his 350th career NHL goal on Oct. 27, 1981, in the Flyers’ 11-2 loss at the Canadiens. Leach scored a total of 381 goals before he retired in 1983. He is seventh on Philadelphia’s all-time goals list with 306.
Bryan Trottier played in his 1,000th career game on Oct. 27, 1988, joining Potvin as the only two Islanders to ever accomplish this feat. He played in a franchise-record 1,123 games for New York before signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990.
Pat LaFontaine scored his seventh career hat trick on Oct. 27, 1990, to become the sixth player in Islanders history to score 250 goals. Exactly one year later, LaFontaine scored his first goal as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Mario Lemieux scored twice on Oct. 27, 1992, to extend his consecutive goal-scoring streak to a team-record 10 games. The 7-2 win over the Ottawa Senators improved the Penguins’ record to 8-0-2 to start the season.
On Oct. 27, 1993, Denis Savard lit the lamp to become the 20th player in NHL history to score 1,200 career points. The milestone came in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Scott Mellanby scored the 200th goal of his NHL career on Oct. 27, 1996, as the Florida Panthers extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games (7-0-3) with a 3-2 win at the Flyers.
Tony Amonte scored his 250th NHL goal on Oct. 27, 1999, in the Blackhawks 1-0 victory at the Canadiens. Goaltender Jocelyn Thibault recorded his 13th career shutout and second straight against his former team.
Amonte’s future teammate, Keith Tkachuk, scored the 300th goal of his NHL career on Oct. 27, 2000, as the Phoenix Coyotes extended their undefeated streak to seven straight games (5-0-2) with a 4-2 win at the Dallas Stars.
Odds & Ends
On Oct. 27, 1926, the Rangers named Lester Patrick as their new coach and general manager, replacing Frank Carroll and Conn Smythe in those respective roles. Patrick spent the next 13 seasons as head coach, winning 281 games and two Stanley Cups. He held on to the general manager’s job until 1946. The Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Final six times under his tenure, winning three championships.
The Bruins signed Hall of Fame goaltender Frank Brimesk on this date in 1938. He quickly earned the nickname “Mr. Zero” by picking up shutouts in six of his first seven starts. He played in 444 games for the Bruins over nine seasons, winning 230 times and recording 35 shutouts.
The Islanders set a team record on Oct. 27, 1979, by scoring three goals in just 44 seconds in a 6-4 win over the Blackhawks. Trottier, who had a hat trick on this night, Clark Gillies, and Mike Bossy combined for the quick-strike offense.
Speaking of team records, Gaetan Duchesne and Mark Taylor set one, on Oct. 27, 1985, by scoring six seconds apart in the opening minute of the Capitals’ 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks.
On Oct. 27, 1998, Dominik Hasek and Mike Richter dueled to a 0-0 tie between the Sabres and Rangers, where both teams went a combined 0-for-11 on the power play. This was the Sabres’ fourth straight shutout of the Rangers, becoming the fourth team in NHL history to shut out the same opponent in four consecutive meetings.
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The Carolina Hurricanes extended their unbeaten overtime streak to an NHL-best 21 games in a row (4-0-17), on Oct. 27, 2000, with a 3-3 tie against the visiting New Jersey Devils. The streak ended with an overtime loss to the Devils on Nov. 18, 2000.
Defenseman Sergei Gonchar announced his retirement, on Oct. 27, 2015, after 20 seasons in the NHL. He played in 1,301 total games for the Capitals, Bruins, Penguins, Ottawa Senators, Stars, and Canadiens. The 2009 Stanley Cup winner immediately rejoined the Penguins as a defenseman development coach.
Happy Birthday to You
A large group of 22 current and former NHL players were born on Oct. 27. The most notable of the bunch are Brian MacLellan (63), Stanley Cup winner Mike Ricci (50), Calder Trophy winner Sergei Samsonov (43), Chris Butler (35), Brandon Saad (29), Rasmus Ristolainen (27), 2020 Hart Trophy winner Leon Draisaitl (26), Rasmus Andersson (25), Dawson Mercer (20), and late Hall of Fame goaltender Hugh Lehman.
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.