On this date in Buffalo Sabres history, January 1, 2000, the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1 at HSBC Arena. Stu Barnes, Max Afinogenov and Erik Rasmussen each had two goals in the game that then Leafs coach Pat Quinn referred to as “The New Years Day Massacre.”

Other than the New Years Day Massacre, January 1st games have not gone well for the Buffalo Sabres. In 1971 the Sabres were beaten by the Boston Bruins 9-4, not surprising for a first year expoansion team playing against the high scoring Bruins led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito.

January 1, 1971 - In the first New Year's Day game in franchise history, the Sabres get bombed by the Boston Bruins, 9-4, at the Aud.

January 1, 1976 - Apparently hung over from the night before, the Sabres are given a 9-6 headache by the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Butch Goring disappoints the Aud throng, not to mention Sabre goalie Gerry Desjardins, by scoring a hat trick.

January 1, 1999 - Teemu Selanne scores a hat trick to lead his Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to a 7-2 rout of the Sabres at the Marena.

On this date in hockey history, January 2, 1980, Gordie Howe of the Hartford Whalers became the first NHL player to appear in games in five different decades. Gordie broke in during the 1940's with the Detroit Red Wings where he played during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. During Howes career, he played 1,767 NHL regular season games and 419 World Hockey Association games

On this date in hockey history, January 2, 1992, Maple Leafs General Manager Cliff Fletcher engineered a trade which revitalized the Leafs franchise following a decade of ineptitude under the stewardship of owner Harol Ballard. Ten players changed teams on that day as the Leafs acquired Doug Gilmour from the Calgary Flames along with Ric Nattress, Jamie Macoun, Kent Manderville and Rick Wamsley in exchange for Gary Leeman, Michel Petit, Jeff Reese, Alexander Godnyuk and Kent Manderville. Gilmour led the Leafs from out of the playoffs in 1992 to the Stanley Cup semifinals in 1993 losing an epic seven game series to Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. He totalled 32-95-127 with 35 points in 21 playoff games in 1993 when he was regarded by many as the best player in the NHL.

On this date in hockey history, January 4, 1984, Wayne Gretzky scored four goals and four assists as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Minnesota North Stars 12-8 at Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum. The 20 combined goals by both teams made this the second highest scoring game in NHL history. Gretzky had four points in the first period alone, with his 44th and 45th goals of thre season and two assists. The second period was more of the same with Gretzky adding another four points with his 46th and 47th goals and another pair of assists. Having watched Gretzky torch them for eight points in two periods, the North Stars shut him out in the third period. Each team had 37 shots on goal with Grant Fuhr going the distance for Edmonton while Don Beapre (20 min) and Gilles Meloche split the duties for Minnesota.

On this date in hockey history, January 4, 1974, Dave Shultz scored a hat trick for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers at the Philadelphia Spectrum.

On this date in hockey history, January 6, 1973, Tony Esposito recorded his 35th career shutout as the visiting Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota North Stars 2-0. Esposito appeared in 56 games for the Hawks that 1972-73 season with four shutouts, a 2.51 GAA and a 32-17-7 record. Gary “Suitcase” Smith played in 23 games with a 10-10-2 record and a 3.54 GAA. Esposito earned the nickname “Tony O” when he earned 15 shutouts as an NHL rookie.

On this date in hockey history, January 4th 1976, the Buffalo Sabres became the first NHL team to defeat a Soviet team when they defeated the touring Soviet Wings team 12-6 at Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium as 16,433 fans enjoyed the greatest game in Sabres history.

The Sabres were one of the leagues strongest teams, coming off an appearance in the 1975 Stanley Cup finals. The Sabres were one of the NHL's best teams, having appeared in the 1975 Stanley Cup finals, and were under pressure to win because the Soviets hadn't lost in the first three games of their tour. The tour was important to the visitors so much so that the Wings team added four players from the Spartak club to bolster their lineup.

Punch Imlach challenged his team to rise to the challenge and developed a game plan to ensure victory. He instructed his players to not chase the Soviets as they wove in and out of their pattern play in their own end but to wait for them at cenetr ice and to anticipate and pick off their passes. His plan worked to perfection.

 The game was played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium in front of 16,433 fans who roared their approval early in the game as the Sabres defense hit Soviet players hard at every opportunity. The Sabres opened the scoring at 6:10 of the first period when Josh Guvrement scored. Gilbert Perreault made it 2-0 at 7:10 and his French Connection linemate Rick Martin made it 3-0 half way through the period. At 13:45 the Wings made it 3-1 before Martin scored again at 14:23 to make it 4-1. The Wings Sergei Kapustin scored at 19:16 against asbres goalie Gerry Desjardins and the period ended 4-2 in favor of the Sabres who led 17-9 in shots.

The second period featured even more goals with Jim Lorentz scoring at 4:32 and Robert at 5:32 making the score 6-2. Valdimir Repnev made it 6-3 at 5:59. Jerry Korab scored on the power play at 8:26. At that point the Wings changed goalies, pulling Alexander Sidelnikov for Alexsandr Kylikov. That didn't help as Danny Gare scored at 11:44 followed by Peter McNab at 13:17 who made it 9-4. The Wings then pulled Klykov from the net and put Sidelnikov back in. The Sabres led in shots 34-16 after two periods, leading 9-4.

In the third period Kapustin scored again at 3:28. The Sabres hit double digits when Fred Stanfield scored at 9:41 to make it 10-5 Yuri Lebedev scored at 11:23 followed by Gare with his second of the game at 14:04 and Brian Spencer at 18:04 for a 12-6 final score. This was the worst defeat ever for a Soviet team in international hockey. The Sabres finished with 46 shots against 25 for the Wings.

Rick Martin was the first star with two goals and five points but for many the highlight of the game was a particluarly heavy hit Jerry Korab threw on the Soviets best player Alexander Yakushev. Asked after the game about the tremendous nature of the body check, Korab replied, “He's Russian and I'm Polish. Thinks about it.” Martin added, “You could tell they didn't like the fact that they got outskated. They all had this dumbfounded look on their faces. They didn't expect that. When we saw that we could skate with them, we just went for it and it worked.

The Sabres earned a tremendous amount of respect around the NHL for this victory. When they traveled to Montreal for their next game, the fans at the Montreal Forum gave the Sabres a standing ovation during pregame warmups. Imlach called the victory the “all time higlight of the Sabres.” It remains the greatest game and most significant victory in franchise history.

The downside involved Peter McNab's post game comments about winning the game for Canada did not resonate well with the Sabres American fans base and he was subsequently booed during home games. This resulted in his signing with Boston as a free agent, weakening the Sabres with his departure and strengthening the Bruins where he became a 40 goal scorer.

On this date in hockey history, January 5, 1979, Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe became linemates on the WHA all star team which played the Moscow Dynamo in a three game series. At Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum. The WHA All-Stars were coached by Jacques Demers and Demers asked Gordie Howe if it was okay to put him on a line with Wayne Gretzky and his son Mark Howe. In the first game, the line scored seven points, as the WHA All-Stars won by a score of 4-2. In the second game, Gretzky and Mark Howe each scored a goal and Gordie Howe picked up an assist as the WHA won 4-2. The line did not score in the final game but the WHA won by a score of 4-3.

On this date in hockey history, January 5, 1993, Brett Hull scored two goals for the St. Louis Blues in a 6-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. They were his 300th and 301st goals as for the Blues, making him the third player in team history to score 300 goals for the franchise.

On this date in hockey history, January 6, 1974, Reggie Leach scored his first NHL hat trick for the California Seals when they lost 9-4 to the Chicago Black Hawks.

On this date in hockey history, January 5, 1980, the Philadelphia Flyers ran their unbeaten streak to 35 games with a pair of third period goals in a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Flyers went 25-0-10 during the streak which ended the very next day against the Minnesota North Stars.

On this date in hockey history, January 5, 1981, John Tonelli tied a New York Islanders team record with five goals and the usually goal scoring Mike Bossy set a team record with six assists during a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Nassau Coliseum.

On this date in hockey history, January 5, 1957, retired Toronto captain Ted Kennedy comes back from a year and a half absence to post 6 goals and 16 assists in 30 games to help lift the floundering Leafs from their 13-20-7 record into the playoffs. The team didn't improve with Kennedy going 8-14-8 during his 30 games to close the season at 21-34-15 missing the playoffs in fifth place. But Kennedy's 30 points pro rated over the full 70 game schedule would have him leading the team in scoring with 55 points. Not bad for a retired guy.

On this date in Toronto hockey history, January 5th, 1918 – The Montreal Wanderers were scheduled to visit the Toronto Arenas. However, the Wanderers had withdrawn from the NHL after their home arena had burned down. The Arenas dressed six players for the game with no opposition on the ice. When the referee dropped the puck Arenas center Corb Denneny shot the puck into the empty net to ensure a victory. The Arenas were awarded a 1-0 default victory. The Arena's became the St. Pats in 1919 and were renamed the Maple Leafs in 1927.

On this date in hockey history, January 6, 1942 – The Chicago Blackhawks were playing the Bruins at Boston Garden when an unusual announcement was made: “Please return any pucks deflected into the stands, due to a wartime shortage of rubber.”

A tale which doesn't reflect well on the modern game, On this date in hockey history, January 6th, 1994 – The Detroit Red Wings defeat the San Jose Sharks 10-3 at the Shark Tank. Ray Sheppard and Viacheslav Kozlov each had a hat trick. My God, 13 goals in one game! It would take three games today to see that many goals.

Canadian culture was altered forever on this day in hockey history, Junauary 7th, 1933 – when the CBC broadcast the first hockey game from coast to coast as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Eventually the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada would own Saturday night in the Dominion of Canada.

On this date in hockey history, January 7th, 1984 – Wayne Gretzky scored three goals for his seventh hat trick of the season (and 25th of his career) in a 5-3 victory over the Hartford Whalers. The goals were his 48th, 49th and 50th of the season in only his 42nd game. This was Gretzky's fifth consecutive 50 goal season.

On this date in hockey history, January 7th, 1992 – Ray Ferraro scored four goals for the New York Islanders and added an assist during a 5-2 victory in Detroit against the Red Wings. He scored his 200th goal in that game. Today a new generation of hockey fans knows Ray Ferraro as a brodcaster on the NHL Network and TSN.

On this date in hockey history, January 7th 1989, The Buffalo Sabres earned their 700th win in franchise history when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Christian Ruuttu led the way for Buffalo with three assists.

On this date in hockey history, January 8th 1944, Bill Cowley of the Boston Bruins led the NHL in scoring with 53 points in 26 games, 2.04 points per game. He injured his shoulder missing 14 games, and returned to play the final ten games of the season with 18 points, finishing with 71 points in 36 games, an average of 1.97 points per game. If Cowley hadn't been injured, he likely would have become the NHL's first 100 point scorer. (The NHL played a 50 game schedule that season.)

Cowley was the early Wayne Gretzky of the NHL and was the greatest playmaker in hockey during his career. He held the NHL record for assists in a single season with 45 and would have broken the points record of 73 but for his injury in 1944. When he retired in 1947, he led the NHL in career points with 548 and in career helpers with 353.

On this date in hockey history, Dave “Tiger” Williams made his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Williams racked up 1,670 penalty minutes with the Leafs in 407 games, adding 109 goals and 241 points. Tiger is the NHL's regular season career penalty minutes leader with 3,966 in 962 games.

On this date in hockey history, January 8th 1947, Howie Meeker scored five goals in a 10-4 victory over the Chicago Black Hawks at Maple Leafs Gardens to set a rookie record for most goals in a game. Or did he?

On this date in hockey history, January 9th, 1979 – Bobby Orr's number four was officially retired by the Boston Bruins in a pregame ceremony at the Boston Garden. According to hockey historian Brian McFarlane, the Bruins fans in attendance gave Orr a standing ovation that lasted 27 minutes. The game featured the touring Soviet Wings team, maybe the management felt that ticket sales might be light so they guaranteed a sellout with the Bobby Orr festivities. The Wings beat the Bruins 4-1.

On this date in hockey history, Januray 9th, 1993 – Mike Gartner of the New York Rangers scored twice in a 4-3 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. In so doing, Gartner became the first NHL player to score at least 25 goals in his first 14 seasons. Gartner finished that season with 45 goals. He scored 28 times the next season, extending the streak to 15 seasons.

On this date in hockey history, January 17, 1971 – the Boston Bruins took 63 shots on goal defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 9-1 at Boston Garden. The loss dropped the Leafs record to 21-21-3

On this date in hockey history, January 18, 1961 – Mark Messier was born in Edmonton Alberta. Messier was known as The Moose when he won five Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers. When he signed with the New York Rangers he became known as The Mess-iah when he guaranteed a game six victory in the 1994 semi finals against the NJ Devils, then scored a hat trick to deliver that win. Messier spent six seasons with the Rangers before leaving when he signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 1997 as a 36 year old free agent after a money dispute with the Rangers. Messier's time in Vancouver was rocky, beginning with fan favorite Trevor Linden being forced to relinquish the captain's C for Messier. Then Messier wanted to wear his familiar number 11 even though the number had been unofficially retired by the Canucks after Wayne Maki died. For these resons and otherMessier was not embraced by Canucks fans. He underperformed with Vancouver with point totals of 60, 48 and 54 points, his worst totals since his rookie year. The team opted not to re-sign him when his contract expired. Messier returned to New York for four more seasons before retiring in 2004. In a little known transaction, Messier was traded by the Rangers on June 30, 2003 to the San Jose Sharks for a fourth round draft pick. Messier was a Shark for just a few hours before he re-signed with the Rangers as a free agent. Messier won the hart trophy in 1990 and 1992 and the Conn Smythe trophy in 1984. He was a 15 time all star.

On this date in hockey history, Vincent Damphousse of the Toronto Maple Leafs scored four goals during the 42nd annual NHL all star game at Chicago Stadium. Damphousse was playing for the Campbell Conference and his third period hat trick along with his first period goal earned him all star game MVP honors over Campbell's teammate Adam Oates of the St. Louis Blues who scored once and had four helpers, including three assists on Damphousses' goals. Mark Messier won the skills competition for shooting accuracy with four hits on six shots and al MacInnis had the hardest shot at 94 M.P.H.

On this date in hockey history, January 19 1984 – Roger Nielson was fired by the Vancouver Canucks GM Harry Neale. Nielson had been an assistant coach when Neale was Vancouver's head coach. With five games remaining in the 1981-82 season, Neale was suspended for ten games after an altercation with fans during a game in Quebec. Nielson took over as head coach in Nelae's absence and the Canucks went on a roll losing only once in those ten games. When his suspension ended, Neale opted to let Nielson continue as head coach and the Canucks rolled into the Stanley Cup finals losing to the New York Islanders. During game two of the conference finals against Chicago, Nielson was upset with the officiating and waved a white towel from the bench on the end of a hockey stick in mock surrender. Three of his players followed suit and were ejected from the game. When the Canucks returned home fans greeted the team at the airport waving white towels. When the Canucks hosted game three the arena was filled with fans waving white towels and one of hockey's greatest playoff traditons was born.

On this date in hockey history, January 20, 1946, Max Bentley of the Chicago Black Hawks scored his fourth career hat tirck duringa 9-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Chicago Stadium before a then NHL record crowd of 19,749.

On this date in hockey history, January 19, 1932, Charlie Conacher scored five goals against goaltender Roy Worters during an 11-3 victory against the New York Americans becoming the first Toronto Maple Leaf to do dent the twine five times in one game. Conacher scored a hat trick or more 14 times as a Maple Leaf, only Darryl Sittler had more.

On this date in hockey history, January 20, 1982, Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers scored three goals in an 8-6 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Gretzky scored one goal in each period, 58th, 59th and 60th goals of the season, and added two assists. This was Gretzky's sixth hat trick of the season and he wasn't even 21 years old. There wasn't a single power play goal scored because there wasn't a single penalty assessed. The Blues outshot the Oilers 34 – 33.

On this date in hockey history, Januray 20, 1984, Dave “Tiger” Williams scored a hat trick for the Vancouver Canucks during a 6-6 tie at Winnipeg. This was the first three goal game of “Tigers” NHL career.

On this date in hockey history, December 21, 1930, Cooney Weiland scored the 100th goal of the season for the Boston Bruins as they defeated defeated the Chicago Black Hawks. The Bruins became the first NHL team to acore 100 goals in a single season.

On this date in hockey history, Januray 21, 1887, Georges Vezina the “Chicoutimi Cucumber” was born in Chicoutimi, Quebec. The man whose name is on the trophy awarded to the NHL's best netminder played for the Montreal Canadiens from the 1910-11 season to 1925-26. Vezina never missed a game, playing 328 straight regular season and 39 playoff games. He led the Habs to a pair of Stanley Cup championships and five appearances in the finals. His last game was the season opener in 1925. Vezina had been sick for nearly two months, losing 35 pounds. He had a temperature of 102 degrees when he vomited blood after the first period. He died from tuberculosis on March 27, 1926.

On this date in hockey history, January 21, 1986, Denis Potvin scored his 270th career goal as the New York Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 7-3. The goal tied Bobby Orr's career scoring record for defenseman. Potvin finished with 310 goals, fifth on the all time list behind #1 Ray Bourque (410), #2 Paul Coffey (396), #3 Al MacInnis (340) and #4 Phil Housley (338).

On this date in hockey history, January 22nd 1966, the Hamilton Red Wings made their NHL debut. Or did they? The Detroit Red Wings were scheduled to play at Montreal on January 22nd. Unfortunately, their unifroms were stolen from their locket room at the Forum the night before the game. So the Red Wings wore the uniforms of their junior affilaite the Hamilton Red Wings during the game against the Canadiens. Wearing the Hamilton jerseys, Roger Crozier earned his 15th career shotout as the Red Wings defeated the Habs 3-0.

On this date in hockey history, January 22nd 1987, an NHL game was played in front of 334 fans when the New Jersey Devils hosted the Calgary Flames. An epic snow storm had delayed the start of the game for two hours. In a classy move, the Devils PR department wrote down the names and addresses of every fan in attendance and created a club for the known as the 334 club.

Devils forward Doug Sulliman was the games first star and recalled the event;

"What I wasn't ready for was all the abandoned cars that were stuck. I couldn't get on the ramp to go two miles to the Meadowlands. So what I had to do was go on the other side of the road and I drove the whole way there in reverse. It was an adventure. "You went out and there was no one in the stands and there was no music playing. It was eerie. Doug Carpenter was our coach and he said, 'Just keep hiding people. We're not going out there until we have 16 or 17 guys.' They were hiding in the medical room, hiding in the stick room.

"I think the Flames had three warm-ups that day.  Nick Fotiu was firing pucks into the stands. Then finally we get enough guys to go out for warm-up. We were so goofy. We're warming up, we're reading magazines, we're hanging out. It was sort of like a beer-league game. "There were 334 people and I'm sure half of them just wanted to get out of the storm. They walked in and got a hot dog and a beer and thought 'Let's sit here for a while.'"

On this date in Buffalo Sabres history

January 22, 1988: Phil Housley records his second career hat trick in a 7-3 win over New Jersey. Housley still holds the Sabres’ franchise record for most career hat tricks by defenseman (2).

January 22, 1989: Lindy Ruff scores his 100th NHL goal in a 6-4 win at home against the Bruins.

This date in hockey history, Januray 23rd 1983, at Northlands Coliseum Wayne Gretzky scored once and added three assists for four points, picking up his 400th career assist during the Edmonton Oilers 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. That gave Gretzky 400 assists in only 290 career games, a remarkable accomplishment, unthinkable in todays NHL.

This date in hockey history, January 24th 1981, Mike Bossy scored two goals when the New York Islanders defeated the Quebec Nordiques 7-4. This gave Bossy 50 goals in 50 games. He became the first player to accomplish this historic feat since Maurice Richard did so in the 1944-45 season.

On this date in hockey history, January 24th 1981, Charlie Simmer scores his third career hat trick for Los Angeles in the Boston Garden as the Kings defeated the Bruins 6-4. This gave Simmer 49 goals in 50 games, missing the historic 50 in 50 by one goal.

On this date in hockey history, January 24th, 1960, Glenn Hall and the Chicago Blackhawks lost 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens. This was Hall's 328th consecutive game tieing Georges Vezina's record for consecutive games played by a goaltender. Hall would extend this record to 502 games, another record unthinkable by todays standard. No doubt this record will never be broken.

On this date in hockey history, January 25th 1964, Phil Esposito of the Chicago Black Hawks scored his first NHL goal against Detroit's Terry Sawchuk. Chicago lost the game 5-3..

On this date in hockey history, January 25th, 1991, the St. Louis Blues Brett Hull scored twice and added a pair of helpers in a 9-4 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. The goals were his 49th and 50th of the season and that was his 49th game, maikng him the fifth player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer games.

This date in Buffalo Sabres history, January 25th 1977, Rick Martin scores two goals in the 3rd period including the game winner with 1:56 remaining. He led the Wales Conference all stars in a 4-3 victory over the Campbell Conference all stars earning Martin MVP honors. Marcel Dionne assisted on both of Martin's goals. The game was played in Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum.

On this date in hockey history, January 26th, 1921, the Toronto St. Patricks defeated the Hamilton Tigers 10-3. Cord Denneny scored six goals for the St. Pats.

On this date in hockey history, January 26th , Wayne Gretzky was born in Brantford Ontario. Gretzky would go on to become the NHL's career scoring leader. In a related development, Gordie Howe scored his 467th goal that same day.

On this date in hockey history, January 26, 1991, Wayne Gretzky enjoyed a birthday bonanza with three goals and two assists as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4.

This date in hockey history, January 27th, 1955, Gordie Howe outshot the New York Rangers 19 – 18. That's right, Gordie took 19 shots in one game. Lorne “Gump” Worsley stopped all 19 shots but surrendered three goals on the 12 shots the rest of the Red Wings took in a 3-3 tie. Detroit outshot New York 31 – 18.

On this day in hockey history, January 27, 1913, Harry Hylund scored eight goals for the Montreal Wanderers as they defeated the Quebec Bulldogs 10-6 in a National Hockey Association (NHA) game. The NHA was the predecessor of the NHL which was formed in 1917. Hyland first played pro hockey for the Montreal Shamrocks in 1908-09, joining the Montreal Wanderers in 1909-10 where the club won the Stanley Cup. He played for the Wanderers until they folded in 1918, except for one season where he joined the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) New Westminster Royals. After the Wanderers folded, he joined the Ottawa Senators, where he was named playing coach. He retired the following year.

On this date in hockey history, January 27th, 1979, Ulf Nilsson tallied five points for the New York Rangers as they defeated the New York Islanders 7-2 in Nassau Coliseum. The victory ended the Islanders 23 game home unbeaten streak.

On this date in hockey history, January 27, 1984, Wayne Gretzky's point scoring streak reached it's final game. Wayne scored his 61st goal of the season for his 51st consecutive game with at least one point during a 3-3 tie with the New Jersey Devils at Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum. He went 61-92-153 during the streak, three points a game.

On this date in hockey history, January 27th, 1989, Steve Yzerman scored three points (1-2-3) as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1. That gave Yzerman 100 points in his 50th game of the season, making him only the fourth NHL player to score 100 points in 50 or fewer games, preceeded by Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bernie Nicholls.

On this date in hockey history, January 28, 1973, Henry Boucha of the Detroit Red Wings scored six seconds after the opening faceoff during a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. This set an NHL record for the fastest goal from the start of a game.

On this date in hockey history, January 28th, 1995, Neal Broten played in his 1,000th career game, a 3-1 victory by the New Jersey Devils over the Florida Panthers, only the third U.S. born player to do so. He won the Stanley Cup with the Devils a few months later.

January 28, 1992 – Brett Hull became just the second player in NHL history to record back to back seasons of 50 goals in 50 games when he scored in a 3-3 tie against the Kings. The first player to accomplish the feat was on the other side of the ice, who was, of course, Wayne Gretzky, who did it in the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.

This date in Buffalo Sabres history, January 29th, 1971, rookie Gilbert Perreault scored the Sabres first, and his first career hat trick during a 4-2 win at Oakland agaonst the California Seals. On this date in Buffalo sabres history, January 29th 1977, the legenday Blizzard of '77 crippled the Buffalo NY area. The Sabres were scheduled to play in Montreal and were lucky to have 14 players make it to the airport (some by snowmobile) to fly to Montreal. Sabres broadcaster Ted Darling was stranded at his home in Lockport and called the game by telephone while watching it on his television set! The shorthanded Sabres came through with a 3-3 tie against the dynastic Canadiens.

On this date in Toronto Maple Leafs history, January 29th, 1906, Joe Primeau was born in Lindsay, Ontario. Primeau was the center of the famous Kid Line with Busher Jackson and Charlie Conacher. He was raised in Victoria British Columbia and moved to Toronto as a youngster. Primeau played his NHL career exclusively with the Maple Leafs, beginning his professional career with the Toronto Ravinas of the CPHL in 1927-28 where he was the leading scorer for coach Frank J. Selke. Primeau only played seven NHL seasons as a regular from 1929-30 to 1935-36 but during a low scoring era had 66 goals 127 assists and 243 points in 310 games. He was one of the great playmakers in NHL history, leading the league in assists three times in 1931, 1932 and 1934 and finishing second in league scoring twice in 1932 and 1934. Primeau won a Stanley Cup in 1932 and retired young at age 30 to manage his construction business. He coached the Leafs for one season in 1950-51, winning a second Stanley Cup when his team defeated his former coach frank Selke and the Montreal Canadiens. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963.

On this date in hockey history, January 29th, 1978, Bobby Clarke scored his 250th goal as a Flyer in a 3-3 tie with the Detroit. Clarke finished with 358 goals in his NHL career where he played 1,144 games wiith Philadelphia. He finshed as the Flyers all time leader in points (1210), assists (852), games played and fourth in goals scored behind Bill Barber (420), Brian Propp (369) and Tim Kerr (363). Passed over by every NHL team in the first round in his draft year in 1969 because of his diabetes, Clarke was taken by the Flyers in the second round in one of the great draft day steals of all time. Clarke was perhaps the greatest two way forward in league history and along with the Leafs Ted Kennedy in the 1940's the foremost example of a team captain providing champion caliber leadership through hard work combined with skill. Clarke's toothelss grin is one of the most iconic images in NHL history.

On this date in hockey history, January 30th 1973, the 1973 NHL All Star Game was played at Madison Square Garden. Greg Polis of the Pittsburgh Penguins scored a pair of goals and earned the MVP award as the Eastern Conference defeated the West 5-4.

On this date in hockey history, January 30th, 1937, Nels Stewart of the New York Americans scored his 270th goal in a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to pass Howie Morenz as the NHL's all time career leader in goal scoring.

On this date in hockey history, January 30th, 1960, Dean Prentice scored the 5,000th goal in Rangers history as the New York Rangers lost 3-2 at Maple Leafs Gardens.

On this date in Toronto Maple Leafs history, January 30th, 1937, Busher Jackson and Gord Drillon each scored a hat trick in a 7-4 victory over the Montreal Maroons.

January 30: On this day in 1981, the Leafs re-acquired Rene Robert from the Colorado Rockies for a 3rd round draft choice. Robert began and ended his NHL career with the Maple Leafs, playing 5 games in 1971 and 69 games in 1980-81 and 1981-82. Robert had a total of 31 points as a Leaf but his best years were with Buffalo where he played right wing on the famed "French Connection" line, which consited of Hall of Famer Gilbert

On this date in hockey history, February 2nd 1975, the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Kansas City Scouts 8-1. In so doing, they set a team record with 59 shots on goal.

On this date in Toronto Maple Leafs history, February 2nd, 1977, Ian Turnbull scored the first hat trick of his career. Actually he scored five goals in a 9-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at Maple Leaf Gardens. Turnbull is the only NHL defenseman to ever score five goals in a game. He was also the first NHL player to ever score five goals in a game on only five shots.