December 20

This Day in History


Dec 20, 1983:

Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt get landmark goals in same game

On December 20, 1983, ice hockey stars Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt of the Montreal Canadiens score their 500th and 400th career goal, respectively, in a 6-0 rout of the New Jersey Devils at Byrne Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey.

Revered for his offensive game and considered one of the best right wings of all time, Lafleur played a total of 17 years--from 1971 to 1985 with the Canadiens and from 1988 to 1991 with the New York Rangers and the Quebec Nordiques--in the National Hockey League (NHL). With the Canadiens, he became the first player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons. Also a prolific scorer, Shutt joined the team at left wing in 1972 and contributed to that year’s Stanley Cup win alongside Lafleur and center Pete Mahovlich. Led by Lafleur and Shutt, the Habs enjoyed a four-year Stanley Cup run from 1976 through 1979.

During the game against the Devils on December 20, 1983, Shutt took a pass from Ryan Walter in the second period and faked Devils’ goalkeeper Glenn Resch to the right to score his 400th career goal and put Montreal up 3-0. Lafleur scored his own milestone goal at 8:34 into the third period, taking a rising shot from about 30 feet away to beat Resch. With the shot, Lafleur became only the 10th player in the history of the NHL (founded in 1917) to score 500 goals.

Shutt left Montreal for the Los Angeles Kings early in the 1984-5 season, but retired at the end of that year with a career total of 424 goals. Lafleur also retired that year, in a ceremony held before 18,000 fans at the Montreal Forum. In 1988, he decided to return to the ice, becoming only the second player since Gordie Howe to continue playing after being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He retired for good in 1991 and took a front-office job in the Canadiens organization. Shutt was elected to the Hall himself in 1993, and has worked as a television commentator and an assistant coach for the Canadiens.

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