THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Dec. 8
1987: Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers fulfills every goalie's dream when he becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to score a goal by shooting the puck into the net.
The Flyers lead the Boston Bruins 4-2 at the Spectrum when goalie Reggie Lemelin is pulled for an extra skater. Hextall, already known for his stickhandling skill, grabs a loose puck to the left of his net and lifts a shot that goes past the Boston defense and slides into the empty net at 18:48 of the third period.
Though Billy Smith of the New York Islanders is the first goaltender to be credited with scoring a goal when the Colorado Rockies backpassed the puck into their own net during a delayed penalty on Nov. 28, 1979, Hextall is the first to score one by shooting the puck. For good measure, he does it again on April 11, 1989, in a playoff game against the Washington Capitals.
1931: The Bruins lose 2-1 to the New York Americans at Boston Garden, ending their 24-game unbeaten streak (19-0-5) at home. It's their first loss at the Garden since Nov. 25, 1930, when the Chicago Blackhawks win 4-3 in overtime.
1979: On his 40th birthday, Red Berenson is named coach of the St. Louis Blues. He replaces Barclay Plager. The hiring comes a year after Berenson retires as a player with the Blues, with whom he scores 412 points (172 goals, 240 assists) in 519 NHL games.
1984: Scotty Bowman ties Dick Irvin's NHL record for coaching victories when the Buffalo Sabres defeat the Bruins 3-1 at Boston Garden. It's Bowman's 690th victory as an NHL coach; he goes on to win 1,244 regular-season games, as well as coaching nine Stanley Cup champions.
1993: Jari Kurri becomes the highest-scoring European player in NHL history, passing Peter Stastny, when he has a goal and two assists in the Los Angeles Kings' 6-5 loss to the visiting Florida Panthers. Kurri's 1,223rd point is one more than Stastny; he finishes his career with 1,398.
1997: The Toronto Maple Leafs play the 5,000th game in franchise history and celebrate with a 3-0 victory against the Dallas Stars at Air Canada Centre. Ed Belfour makes 25 saves and Mats Sundin scores twice in the third period. The win gives the Maple Leafs a record of 2,139-2,135-726.
1999: The Kariya brothers opposed each other in an NHL game for the first time when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Vancouver Canucks tied 2-2 at Arrowhead Pond. Paul Kariya scored a power-play goal for Anaheim; younger brother Steve Kariya had an assist for Vancouver.
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