Today in Hockey History: New York Rangers Phil Esposito Gets 1,500 Points

Phil Esposito

We’re normally starting up another hockey season, but we’re in a different world. Last Word on Hockey is still 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 October 21st, featuring Phil Esposito.

Today in Hockey History

Phil Esposito Scores 1,500th Point

1979: The New York Rangers forward reaches the 1,500-point milestone with a power-play goal at 16:56 of the first period. New York would go on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3, at Madison Square Garden.

The goal would put Esposito as only one of two players to top 1,500 points at that time. Esposito would join Detroit Red Wings great Gordie Howe with that number of points. “Espo” would finish with 1,590 points after retiring after the 1980-81 season. He enters the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Other Notable Events

1954: Red Kelly is the second Detroit Red Wings defenceman to score three goals in a game. Kelly gets his hat trick in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins.

1962: Detroit’s Bill Gadsby is the second player in league history to appear in 1,000 career games. Gadsby joins Howe in the 1,000 game-club in a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

1988: Future Hall of Famers Guy Lafleur and Marcel Dionne score their first goals as Rangers’ teammates. Dionne nets a power-play goal at 7:52 of the first period while Lafleur nets a goal at 5:30 of the third. The goals help the Blueshirts beat the Washington Capitals, 4-1.

1993: Officiating is all in the family as Paul Devorski is the referee and brother, Greg, are the first brothers to be officials for an NHL game. Detroit would roll to a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets at the Joe Louis Arena.

The Toronto Maple Leafs tie a franchise-record with their eighth straight win to start the season. Toronto beats the Florida Panthers, 4-3, in overtime at the Miami Arena.

1997: Eric Lindros‘ 200th career goal and four assist lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-1 rout of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lindros reaches 200 goals in 307 games, which is the fifth-fastest to the milestone.

2000: Detroit and Chicago play their 5,000th career games in the NHL. Chicago is shut out, 1-0, by the St. Louis Blues while Detroit beats the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, in overtime.

2018: Tampa Bay attempts a record 33 shots in the second period of its 6-3 win over Chicago. It’s the most shots on goal in one period since 1965-66, when the League first lists shots by period.

Happy Birthday to You

1934: Brian Kilrea

1938: Carl Brewer

1942: Lou Lamoriello

1949: Michel Briere; Mike Keenan

1980: Mike Danton

1990: David Kudla

1991: Alexander Burmistrov


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