This Day in Bruins History: Esposito Becomes First to Score 60 Goals!

(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

On this day in Bruins history, March 11th, 1971, longtime B’s legend Phil Esposito became the NHL’s all-time single-season leader in goals when he scored his 59th and 60th tallies in a 7-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

“Espo,” as he was affectionately known, broke Bobby Hull’s single-season record of 58 goals when he scored No. 59, beating Denis DeJordy at 7:03 of the first period. He then reached the milestone plateau of 60 goals in a season when he beat DeJordy once again at 15:40 of the second period (see highlights below).

Later in the same game, teammate Johnny “The Chief” Bucyk surpassed another Hull record by scoring two goals, giving him 99 points and eclipsing his single-season mark for left wings.

The Bruins also became the first NHL team to win 50 games in one season thanks to their resounding victory over the Kings. Talk about a Hollywood ending to a hockey game!

Some other fun games in B’s history that shared a momentous March calendar marker on this day:

March 11th, 1930

Cooney Weiland scores a hat trick then adds an assist in Boston’s 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the old Boston Garden. The victory extended the Bruins home winning streak at the time to an NHL-record 20 games.

March 11th, 1937

High-flying B’s rookie Milt Schmidt scores the first two goals of his NHL career to help the Bruins (again) defeat the Blackhawks 6-2 at Chicago Stadium. The 19-year-old future Hockey Hall of Famer scores twice in a span of 10:15 during the first period to celebrate the historic occasion.

March 11th, 1976

Ken Hodge netted his fifth career hat trick and in doing so scored his 300th career goal in a 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston. Hodge also picked up an assist to finish the night with four points.

March 11th, 1982

And on to cap off a busy “Lucky 11th” in March for the Bruins of yesteryear, Rick Middleton scored three times to also notch his fifth career hat trick (like Hodge), with rookie Barry Pederson picking up three assists in the B’s 7-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

For more “This Day in Bruins History” articles, check back in weekly right here on the Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog!

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