This date in National Hockey League history is jammed-packed with so many all-time greats that even one of the biggest baseball legends made an appearance on the ice. Fans in New York and Edmonton had plenty to cheer about, one of the most dangerous lines in league history was put together for the first time, and an elite goal-scorer picked up his first career hat trick. Let’s buckle into our hockey time machine and begin our daily trip throughout the years.
Messier’s Big Date
Mark Messier had plenty of big moments during his Hall of Fame career, and three of them happened on this date, with two different teams.
On Jan. 13, 1991, Messier had three third-period assists in the Edmonton Oilers’ 5-3 road win at the Philadelphia Flyers, to give him 1,000 career points. His first assist of the night helped set up another personal milestone; Glenn Anderson’s 400th NHL goal.
Two years later, on Jan. 13, 1993, Messier had a goal and three assists to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals. His four-point night gave him 1,200 in his remarkable career.
Finally, on Jan. 13, 1996, Messier had another four-point performance to lead the Rangers to a 4-0 win at the Flyers. Goaltender Glenn Healy picked up his first shutout of the season and ninth of his career.
More New York Memories
Before the Rangers joined the league, the New York Americans called the Madison Square Garden home. Prior to their game on Jan. 13, 1926, one of the biggest icons in all of sports made an appearance. Baseball legend Babe Ruth dropped the ceremonial puck just before the start of the Montreal Canadiens’ 2-1 win over the Americans. Over 10,000 fans showed up to get a glimpse of the Great Bambino.
The Rangers continued a trio of long streaks on Jan. 13, 1940, when they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. This extended their winning streak to 10 games, their overall unbeaten streak to 19, and their road unbeaten streak to 11. The 10-game winning streak is still the longest in team history and was matched by the 1972-73 team. Goaltender Dave Kerr upped his personal unbeaten streak to 19 games, which stood at the franchise record until Mike Richter broke it in 1994.
Two years later, on Jan. 13, 1942, the Rangers scored five goals in a span of 3:46 during a 9-2 over the Americans. Alex Shibicky led the charge with two goals as Grant Warnick, Lynn Patrick, and Alan Kontz rounded out the onslaught.
Ulf Samuelsson played in his 1,000th career game on Jan. 13, 1999, in a 4-3 Rangers win over the visiting New York Islanders.
Finally, on Jan. 13, 2003, Petr Nedved scored his seventh career hat trick as the Blueshirts beat the Maple Leafs 5-1. Goaltender Mike Dunham made 23 saves to earn the 100th victory of his career.
Riding High in Edmonton
Messier’s big night in 1991 was not the only memory for the Oilers on this date. On Jan. 13, 1982, rookie goaltender Grant Fuhr extended his unbeaten streak to 23 straight games (15-0-8) in a 6-6 with the Capitals.
Playing in his 436th career game, on Jan. 13, 1985, Wayne Gretzky scored his 400th career NHL goal and added two assists in a 5-4 Oilers’ win at the Buffalo Sabres. He became the 23rd player in the NHL to reach the 400-goal mark.
Joe Murphy scored his first NHL hat trick and added an assist on Jan. 13, 1992, as the Oilers beat the Minnesota North Stars 7-4.
Connor McDavid celebrated his 21st birthday in style on Jan. 13, 2018, with two assists in a 3-2 overtime victory at the Vegas Golden Knights. The two helpers gave him 200 points in his young career. The win snapped both the Golden Knights’ seven-game home winning streak and 10-game unbeaten run.
Double Dual Milestones
A pair of future Hall of Famers hit a personal milestone on Jan. 13, 1994, in the St. Louis Blues’ 6-4 win over the Oilers. Playing in his 500th career game, Brett Hull scored an empty-net goal to seal the deal. Of his 386 goals with the team, this was his first of the empty-net variety. Also, Brendan Shanahan scored his 200th NHL goal and added three assists to lead the way with four points.
On Jan. 13, 2004, Gary Roberts and Tom Fitzgerald became the first set of teammates to play in their 1,000th career game on the same night. Fitzgerald had a goal in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
A Good Date Between the Pipes
Jacques Plante became just the fourth goaltender in Canadiens’ history to win 100 career games on Jan. 13, 1957, with a 3-1 victory against the visiting Boston Bruins.
Gilles Gilbert became the fifth goaltender in Bruins franchise history to record 150 victories on Jan. 13, 1980, in a 6-2 win against the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Daren Puppa picked up his 150th NHL victory on Jan. 13, 1996, when the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the visiting Ottawa Senators 4-1.
Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji became the first Japanese-born player to appear in an NHL on Jan. 13, 2007, in the Los Angeles Kings’ 6-5 loss to the Blues. He relieved starter Barry Brust at the start of the third period. He allowed one goal and four shots and was credited with the loss. He made his first career start three nights later.
The Sabres retired Dominik Hasek’s No. 39 on Jan. 13, 2015, ahead of their game against the Detroit Red Wings. In his nine seasons in Buffalo, he won 234 games, two Hart Trophies for being the league MVP and six Vezina Trophies for being voted the NHL’s best goaltender.
Odds & Ends
Alex Delvecchio scored his 200th career goal on Jan. 13, 1962, as the Red Wings lost 4-3 in Toronto. He became the 35th player to score 200 NHL goals and joined Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay as the only Red Wings to do so.
One year later, Howe scored twice as the Red Wings beat the Rangers 4-2. The two goals gave him 20 on the campaign for the 14th consecutive season.
Staying in Detroit, on Jan. 13, 1971, the Red Wings traded Frank Mahovlich to the Canadiens.
Red Wings’ general manager Ned Harkness made this huge deal just five days after taking the job. He received forwards Mickey Redmond, Bill Collins, and Guy Charron in the return. Mahovlich proved he still had plenty left in the tank as he helped the Habs win the Stanley Cup in 1971 and 1973.
Marcel Dionne scored four goals, including the 300th of his career, on Jan. 13, 1979, to lead the Kings to a 7-3 win at the Red Wings. This was the first night he played on the same line with Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer, who was just recalled for the American Hockey League. This trio would eventually be known as the “Triple Crown Line” and become one of the best in league history.
On Jan. 13, 1990, Joe Mullen scored two goals in the Flames’ 6-5 loss at the Maple Leafs. This gave him 686 career points, putting him ahead of Reed Larson for the most points by a U.S.-born player in NHL history.
Bernie Nicholls set up three goals on Jan. 13, 1997, as the San Jose Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-4. With the big performance, he became the 30th player in league history to record 700 career assists.
Rob Ray picked up two penalty minutes on Jan. 13, 1999, in the Sabres’ 4-2 loss to the Blues, to become the NHL’s all-time leader in penalty minutes with one team. He broke the mark of 2,405 set by Tim Hunter with Flames between 1982 and 1991.
Mike Rupp made his NHL debut on Jan. 13, 2003, on his 23rd birthday. He scored two goals as the Florida Panthers’ big 6-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. He became the first player in league history to score two goals while debuting on his birthday.
Rookie Alex Ovechkin provided all the Capitals’ offense on Jan. 13, 2006, in a 3-2 win at the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He completed his first career hat trick, in overtime, by beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere for this 30th goal of the season.
Happy Birthday to You
In addition to Rupp (42) and McDavid (25), 26 other current and former NHL players were born on this date. The most notable of this bunch are Cesare Maniago (83), Kelly Hrudey (61), Nikolai Khabibulin (49), Sergei Brylin (48), Marc Staal (35), Jack Johnson (35), Kyle Clifford (31), Austin Watson (30), Yakov Trenin (25), Ivan Provorov (25), and Joe Veleno (22).
Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.