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This Day in Hockey History – May 20

Today in hockey history, a man who played 22 seasons on the same time is born, a goal scoring frenzy, an overtime win sets a new record, a player/mummy who played a ton of games, and one of the most interesting games in NHL history where the goal scoring took a back seat to weird.

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May 20, 1940 – Hall-of-Famer Stan Mikita was born in Skolce, Czechoslovakia. Mikita played his entire 22-year career with the Black Hawks (1958-80), good for fourth on the all-time list of players who played their entire career with one team, but winning only one Stanley Cup in that span. His 1,394 games played is good for the most all time with Chicago, and his 926 assists and 1,467 points are both good for the top of the franchise list as well. He’s the only player to win the Hart (MVP), Art Ross (most points), and Lady Byng (sportsmanship) in the same season, and he did it in back-to-back years (1966-67 and 1967-68)!

May 20, 1975 – In one of the more interesting days in the NHL, the Flyers beat the Sabres 5-4 in overtime in Game 3 of the Finals. It wasn’t the game itself that was interesting, but rather the events that took place in the arena during the game. First, a bat found its way into the arena and starting flying around near ice level inside the rink. Yes, a bat, and it took the mighty swing of Sabres’ Jim Lorentz to take it down and Flyers Rick MacLeish to pick it up with his bare hands and carry it off the ice. Teamwork! And the weirdness didn’t stop there, as a fog mysteriously rolled into the arena, concealing view of the puck. That’s a pretty ominous night, I’m sure there was a full moon out that evening, too.

May 20, 1986 – Montreal and Calgary combined for four goals in the first period…four goals in one minute and 34 seconds, to be exact, in the Flames 5-3 win in Game 3 of the Finals. That’s obviously a record for the fastest four goals in the Finals.

May 20, 1993 – The Canadiens beat the Islanders 2-1 in overtime (12:34 into the extra period) in Game 3 of the Wales Conference Finals. Montreal set a record with the win, as it was their seventh-straight overtime victory.

May 20, 2002 – Detroit’s Chris Chelios became the first U.S. born player to appear in 200 career playoff games, playing in the Red Wings 4-3 overtime loss against the Avalanche in Game 2 of the conference finals (yep, those two teams played each other a lot). And not only has he played the most games for U.S. players, he’s played the most playoff games for all players. His 266 games is three more than the second place, his long-time teammate Nicklas Lidstrom.


Source: Hockey Hall of Fame

Scott Finger
Scott is the former managing editor at Hooked on Hockey Magazine. He loves hockey, writing, and writing about hockey. He graduated from Roger Williams University in 2011 with a useless degree in Media Communications (concentrating in Journalism). Being a New York Rangers fan (and NY Giants and Mets fan) living in Boston is very uncomfortable for him, and it'll be awkward trying to celebrate a Rangers Cup win in the streets when they inevitably win sometime in the next 100 years. He also likes long walks on the beach.
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