During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for April 18th, featuring Wayne Gretzky.
Today in Hockey History
Wayne Gretzky Plays Final NHL Game
1999: The Great One, now playing for the New York Rangers, gets an assist and his 2,857th point in his final NHL game. New York would lose 2-1 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jaromir Jagr seal the win with a goal at 1:22 of OT.
Gretzky would get a videotaped message from his idol Gordie Howe before the game. Number 99 would skate around the ice at Madison Square Garden in a few victory laps. He’d finish with 894 goals and 1,963 NHL assists for his final numbers.
Other Notable Events
1942: The Toronto Maple Leafs cap an improbable rally by beating the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Sweeney Schriner scored twice as the Leafs were the first team to overturn an 0-3 hole.
1963: Dave Keon is the first to score two shorthanded goals in a playoff game. The Leafs beat the Wings, 3-1, in Game 5 of the Final.
1994: The San Jose Sharks shocked the Red Wings, 5-4, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. San Jose is the first team since the Isles in 1975 to win their first playoff game.
2012: Pittsburgh routs Philadelphia, 10-3, to equal the most goals by a road team. The Pens set a record for most goals It’s the most goals ever by a facing elimination.
Happy Birthday to You
1966: Valeri Kamensky
1969: Vladimir Tsyplakov
1971: Oleg Petrov
1982: Scott Hartnell
1993: Mika Zibanejad