March 22 has seen quite a bit of National Hockey League history over the years. One of the league’s oldest franchises did plenty on this date. In addition, we witness one of the scariest plays in NHL history as well as some record-setting performances. Let’s take our daily trip back in time to relive all the best this date has had to offer.
Bruins Own the Day
The Bruins have had a long and storied history as one of the NHL’s “Original Six” teams. Some of the biggest names to ever wear the B’s sweater made their mark on the game on this date.
Goaltenders playing an entire season was a very common practice during the first few decades of the league. While the backup goaltender position has become an important one in today’s game, it was pretty much obsolete for many years.
On March 22, 1964, Bruins goaltender Eddie Johnston became the last goaltender in NHL history to ever play every minute of every game in a season. He started his 70th straight game in the season’s final contest against the Chicago Blackhawks and lost 4-3. He finished the season with an 18-40-12 record with a 3.01 goals-against average (GAA) for the last-place Bruins.
Six years later, Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr had two goals and a pair of assists in a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota North Stars. The two goals made him the first blueliner in NHL history to score 30 goals in a single season. His two helpers gave him 78, which broke the single-season league record set by his teammate Phil Esposito the previous season. Johnny Buyck also made history on this evening by becoming the first player to score 300 goals as a member of the Bruins.
Orr wasn’t done on March 22. In 1975, he scored three goals in an 8-2 win over the Washington Capitals. It was the ninth and final hat trick Orr’s career, the most by any defenseman in league history.
A Record-Setting Kind of Day
Gordie Howe finished his season with 49 goals and 46 assists for an NHL record 95 points on March 22, 1953, as Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens tied 1-1. His new scoring record made him the first player to win the Ross Trophy three times and in three straight seasons.
Six years later, Canadiens forward Dickie Moore had a goal and an assist to break Howe’s record with 96 points. Jean Beliveau scored twice for a league-leading 45 goals in the 4-2 road win at the New York Rangers. He also had an assist to finish the season with 91 points, breaking his own single-season scoring record for centers.
Marcel Dionne scored two goals and added two assists on March 22, 1972, to reach 75 points, a new NHL rookie-record rookie, as the Red Wings won 6-3 at the Los Angeles Kings. He broke the old mark of 72 points, set by Gilbert Perreault of the Buffalo Sabres the previous season.
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Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins made history on March 22, 1989, in a 5-4 loss to the Capitals. Lemieux became the third player in league history to score 30 power-play goals in a season. This helped the Penguins set the single-season record for power-play goals with 112, breaking the old mark set by the 1987-88 New York Rangers.
Luc Robitaille becomes the NHL’s all-time leader for points by a left wing on March 22, 2004, when he has an assist in the Kings’ 2-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The assist was the 1,370th point of his career, moving him past Bucyk.
On March 22, 2018, the Vegas Golden Knights became the first team in NHL history to have 100 points in its expansion season in a 2-1 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
On March 22, 2021, Hurricanes’ defenseman Dougie Hamilton extended his point streak to 12 games when he assisted on Martin Necas’ second-period goal in what ended up being a 3-0 shutout win over the Blue Jackets. He passed Gordie Howe, who previously had an 11-game streak from Jan. 12-Feb. 6, 1980 for the Hartford Whalers.
Goaltenders Take Center Stage
Jacques Plante became the second goaltender in NHL history to win 40 games three times in his career on March 22, 1962, in the Canadiens’ 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Terry Sawchuk was the first netminder to have three 40-win seasons.
Jim Rutherford became the first NHL goaltender to play for three teams in one season, on March 22, 1981, when he led the Kings to a 7-5 win at the Winnipeg Jets. He started the season with the Red Wings before being traded to the Maple Leafs and then Los Angeles.
Patrick Roy had one of the greatest careers of any NHL goaltender and he accomplished a pair of remarkable feats on this date. On March 22, 1989, he shutout the Quebec Nordiques in an 8-0 Canadiens’ victory to extend his unbeaten streak on home ice to 26 games. He went 24-0-2 during the streak and broke Bill Durnan’s team-record 25-game run (22-0-3) set during the 1943-44 season. Exactly 14 years later, he was in net for the Colorado Avalanche’s 8-1 victory over the visiting Blackhawks. He became the first goaltender in NHL history to put together 13 seasons with at least 30 wins.
Henrik Lundqvist passed Ed Giacomin for the most shutouts in Rangers’ history on March 22 ,2014, with a 2-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils. With his parents in attendance, he made 21 saves for the 50th shutout of his career.
Malarchuk Survives Scariest Play in NHL History
Sabres’ goaltender Malarchuk, became infamous on March 22, 1989, during a game against the St. Louis Blues. Steve Tuttle of the Blues and Uwe Krupp of the Sabres both drove hard to the net. The heavy contact caused Tuttle’s skate to hit Malarchuk in the neck partially slicing his jugular.
The spirited game quickly turned into a scene from a grotesque horror movie as blood began to gush onto the ice. The sight caused players on the rink and fans in the stands to become physically ill. Somehow, Malarchuk was able to skate off under his own power.
His life was saved by the quick action of Buffalo’s trainer, Jim Pizzutelli, who served as a combat medic for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He lost 1.5 litres of blood and needed 300 stitches to close the wound. He returned to the ice just 10 days later.
Caloun Makes Rookie History
The name of Jan Caloun may not ring a bell for many readers, but on March 22, 1996, he made quite the mark on the game. Playing in just his third NHL game, he scored the game-tying goal in the San Jose Sharks’ 2-1 overtime win versus the Calgary Flames.
The goal was the fourth of his young career on just his fourth shot. He would finally be stopped in overtime to start his tenure with four goals on five shots for a .800 shooting percentage. After being held off the scoreboard in his next game, he scored in back-to-back games to bring his total to six goals in as many games. He finished up the season with eight goals and 11 points in 11 games.
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The quick start to his career did not translate to long-term success. Caloun would only appear in 13 more NHL games, two with the Sharks and 11 with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and scored zero goals with just three assists. He did have 43 goals and 86 points in 66 games for the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the American Hockey League during the 1996-97 season before heading back home to his native Czech Republic.
Odds & Ends
Newsy Lalonde became the first NHL player to score four goals in a Stanley Cup Final game on March 22, 1921, in the Canadiens 4-2 win over the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey League.
Bob Pulford scored the game-winning goal on March 22, 1970, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 5-2 win at the Rangers. This made him the third player in franchise history to score 250 career goals.
Bryan Trottier tied Doug Smail’s NHL record for the fastest goal from the start of a game on March 22, 1984, by scoring just five seconds after the opening faceoff. The quick start did not result in a win as the New York Islanders and Bruins skated to a 3-3 tie.
Mark Messier scored four goals to become the fourth player in Rangers’ history to score 100 points in a season on March 22, 1992, in a 6-3 win over the Devils. This was the 16th hat trick and sixth 100-point season of his career.
Eric Lindros scored his 40th goal of the season to pick up his 600th career point on March 22, 1999, as the Flyers beat the Maple Leafs 3-1.
Pat Verbeek became the 28th player to score 500 career goals on March 22, 2000, in the Red Wings’ 2-2 tie with the Flames. He was the first member of the 500-goal club who also amassed 2,000 career penalty minutes.
On the same night, Al MacInnis became the fifth defenseman in league history to score 1,100 career points. He scored the game-winning goal in the Blues’ 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. This gave them 47 wins on the season, tying the franchise record.
Pierre Turgeon played in his 1,000th NHL game on March 22, 2001, a 3-1 Blues loss to the visiting Avalanche.
Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski played his 900th NHL game on this date in 2021 when his team dropped a 5-1 decision to the Avalanche. He is now closing in on 1,000 as he has since moved on to the Minnesota Wild.
On that same night, the Wild made history with their ninth-straight win at home when they walked away with a 2-1 victory over the Ducks. Nick Bjugstad broke a 1-1 tie in the third period and ended up with the record-setting game-winning goal to extend the streak.
Happy Birthday to You
Hall of Famer and Maple Leafs legend Dave Keon is celebrating his 83rd birthday today. He is one of 26 current and former NHL players born on this date including John Marks (75), Pelle Eklund (60), Todd Ewen (57), Tom Poti (46), Mike Smith (41) and Nic Petan (28).
*Originally constructed by Greg Boysen
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.