Hockey is back! Normally we’d be closing in on the NHL trade deadline for the final push of the season. However, 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 February 20th, featuring Phil Esposito.
Today in Hockey History
Phil Esposito Bets 50th Goals in His Birthday Three Times
1972: Esposito celebrates his 30th birthday with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. He started his career in Chicago before Boston acquired him.
1974: He becomes the first three-time 50-goal scorer with a hat trick in a 5-5 tie with the Minnesota North Stars.
Other Notable Events
1930: Montreal Maroons goalie Clint Benedict becomes the first goalie to wear a mask after getting hit in the face with a puck. The Maroons and the Americans skate to a 3-3 tie.
1944: The Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs play a “perfect game” in a 0-0 tie with no penalties called. Chicago’s Mike Karakas and Toronto’s Paul Bibeault do not allow a goal while referee Bill Chadwick doesn’t call a penalty.
1971: The Montreal Canadiens Jean Beliveau becomes the first to record 1,200 points in a 7-1 rout of Chicago. Beliveau hands out three assists while Peter Mahovlich scores twice in five seconds.
1982: The New York Islanders get their 15th straight win with a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. John Tonelli breaks a tie in the third period to give the Isles the record-setting victory.
2018: The Colorado Avalanche net all five of their goals on the power-play in a 5-4 overtime win against the Canucks. Tyson Barrie gets a goal and four assists while Nathan MacKinnon nets the game-winner at 3:36 of OT.
2019: Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames and MacKinnon both score in wins to bring the number of 30-goal scorers for the 2018-19 season to 16.
Happy Birthday to You
1942: Phil Esposito
1948: Pierre Bouchard
1956: Rick Green
1957: Glen Hanlon
1964: Christian Ruuttu
1975: Brendan Witt
1976: Dave Scatchard
1984: Ben Lovejoy
1987: Martin Hanzal