This wasn’t the most eventful date in National Hockey League history, but there was a huge win in Philadelphia in 1976. Los Angeles and Edmonton fans had plenty to cheer about. There were also many personal milestones. Let’s strap in and go for our daily trip through the decades.
Red Army is downed by Flyers
In late 1975, the Soviet Red Army team traveled to North America for four exhibition games. The elite Russian team reached the Spectrum on January 11, 1976 to face the Philadelphia Flyers. They managed to tie the Montreal Canadiens.
Ray Shero was the head coach and had his team play exactly the same hockey style that won them the Stanley Cups. They took over the neutral zone and established puck possession. They also hit every red ball that moved. This was a new type of hockey that the Soviets hadn’t seen in their three previous games. They couldn’t figure out how they were going to beat it.
To beat the Red Army by 4-1, the Flyers scored goals from Reggie Leach and Joe Watson. Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tritzak made 49 saves during the losing effort. Wayne Stephenson had only 14 shots to take as Philadelphia won all three zones.
Dominating 80s Oilers
Wayne Gretzky had five points, including a goal and four assists on January 11, 1981. This led the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-3 victory over the Quebec Nordiques. Jari Kurri also scored his second career goal and the Oilers stopped a nine-game losing streak.
Pat Hughes became the first player to break one of Gretzky’s NHL records on Jan. 11, 1983, in Edmonton’s 7-5 win over the St. Louis Blues. Two shorthanded goals were scored by Hughes in 25 seconds. He actually scored them against Mike Liut (and Rick Heinz)
Oilers were known for scoring shorthanded goals fast. Esa Tikkanen holds that record. While playing in Edmonton, he scored his two shorties within 12 seconds.
Gretzky received an assist in reaching the 100-point mark in the 42nd game, Jan. 11, 1987, when the Oilers defeated the Calgary Flames 503. He tied Marcel Dionne’s (more on him shortly) NHL record of eight straight seasons with at least 100 points.
Crowning Achievements For Kings
Charlie Simmer, a Springfield player in the American Hockey League, was recalled by the Los Angeles Kings on January 11, 1979. Two days later, he played his first game with Dave Taylor and Dionne as a member of what became the “Triple Crown” line.
Related – Remembering the Los Angeles Kings’ Triple Crown Line
Four years later, Dionne scored his 24th career goal hat trick and had three assists to help lead the Kings to victory at Washington Capitals 9-7. This win ended an eight-game losing streak on the road.
Dionne made history by scoring two goals and providing an assist in a tie of 4-4 at the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 11, 1986. With these two tallies, Dionne became the first NHL player to score at most 20 goals in each of his 15 first seasons.
Big Time Milestones
Gilbert Perreault became the second player in Buffalo Sabres’ history to score 350 goals on Jan. 11, 1981, and added an assist in a 4-4 tie with the Kings.
One year later, Terry O’Reilly recorded his 500th career point with a goal in a Boston Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. He became the eighth player in Boston to have 500 points.
Bryan Trottier became the second player in New York Islanders’ franchise history to score 400 goals, on Jan. 11, 1986, in an 8-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. He was the 24th NHL player to surpass the 400-goal mark.
Denis Savard received an assist Jan. 11, 1988 for his 800th NHL goal. The Chicago Blackhawks and Rangers sailed to a 2-2 draw.
Former number overall pick Bobby Smith scored his 350th NHL career goal on Jan. 11, 1992, in the Minnesota North Stars’ 7-4 home loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Doug Gilmour picked up his 500th career assist on Jan. 11, 1993, in a 4-2 Maple Leafs’ win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.
John LeClair scored twice on Jan. 11, 1999, including the 250th NHL goal of his career in the Flyers’ 8-0 win against the Nashville Predators on home ice.
Gary Roberts scored a goal for the Carolina Hurricanes during their 4-3 loss at the Flyers on Jan. 11, 2000. Roberts was the sixth player to score 300 goals in league history and earn 2,000 penalty minutes.
Jaromir Jagr added four assists and scored his 10th career goal with the Capitals in their 12-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. This result gave him 1,200 career goals and at least 20 assists in each of his 13 NHL season.
Alex Ovechkin was a Capitals player against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he had 999 career goals. He was able to score the first goal in a 5-2 win, taking only 35 seconds. Another goal was scored on a second-period energy play.
Odds & Ends
In a penalty-free match, the Maple Leafs defeated the New York Americans 9 to 0. Dave “Sweeney” Schriner had a goal and three assists to lead the offense, and Turk Broda recorded his 23rd career shutout. Two nights earlier, they defeated the Rangers without any penalties. It was the first time that two teams have played in the same game with zero combined penalty minutes in NHL history.
Toe Blake, a Canadian great, suffered a career-ending injury when he smashed his ankle into the board in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers. He was a Habs player in 577 games and scored 235 goals as well as 529 goals. He was part of three Stanley Cup wins and won the Hart Trophy in 1939 for being voted the NHL’s most valuable player. In 1955, he was appointed the new Montreal head coach. For thirteen seasons, he remained on the bench, winning 500 games and eight Stanley Cup championships. He also won five consecutive Stanley Cup titles between 1956 and 1960.
Gump Worsley, a future Hall of Famer, won his first career shutout in Rangers’ 7-0 victory over the Canadiens on January 11, 1953. Worsley, a Montreal native, was called in to replace injured Chuck Rayner. He was a career shutout for 43, 16 for the Habs.
Joe Nieuwendyk broke the Flames record by scoring five goals in an 8-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on January 11, 1989. He scored two goals on breakaway, one shorthanded and two on the powerplay. His five goals were all scored in the third quarter.
Pat Lafontaine increased his streak of scoring goals to 11 games. Five assists were also collected in the Islanders 8-4 victory at the North Stars. Mike Bossy had previously set a previous team record of 10 goals in a row.
The Anaheim Ducks retired Teemu Selanne’s No. 8, Jan. 11, 2015. He became the first player to have his number raised up to the rafters by Anaheim Ducks. During his two stints with Ducks, he scored 457 of the 684 NHL goals. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals and points, with 988. Ryan Getzlaf is second in assists with 531, and he passed him up.
Jan. 11 was the birth date for 23 NHL players. Mike Corrigan (76), Dave Burrows 73, Rob Ramage 63, Rob Ramage 63), Ron Stern 63), Wade Flaherty 54), Mark Pysyk 30 and Red Hamill 66 are the most prominent.
Greg Boysen has been writing about Chicago Blackhawks hockey since 2010. He has also been a site manager at FanSided as well as SB Nation. He was fully credentialed and published in The Hockey News. 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 showsBlackhawks Banter. While he is a regional scout with the NAHL, he is also credentialed as a Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs and Milwaukee Admirals player. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. Follow Greg on for interview requests and topic suggestions TwitterReach out.