Today in Hockey History: Jan. 25

Blackhawks History, Bobby Orr, Bruins History, Column, Hockey History, Oilers History, Penguins History, Phil Esposito, Red Wings History, Sidney Crosby, Top Story

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.

200 & 400 are Wild

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.

Ron Francis Hartford Whalers
Francis scored his 200th career goal on this night in 1989. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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.

Firsts in the NHL

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.

All-Stars Take Center Stage

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.

Odds & Ends

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.

Paul Coffey, Edmonton Oilers
Coffey had a legendary career. (NHL.com)

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.

Happy Birthday to You

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.


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