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12 Highest Scoring NHL Games Ever

By Biraj Khanal / 8 December 2023 11:06 AM

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Hockey fans are no strangers to high-scoring games. Each of these contests provides a glimpse into the thrilling and unpredictable world of hockey.

Hockey fans love high-scoring games, and the NHL has seen some truly epic contests over the years. 

From mind-boggling offensive displays to record-breaking performances, these games are written in the history books and continue to captivate fans even in recent periods.

Known for its electrifying pace and thrilling goals, some games in NHL history have taken the excitement to a whole new level, with scores that would make even the most seasoned fan's jaw drop.

1. Toronto St. Patricks Vs Montreal Canadiens, 21 Goals

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On January 10, 1920, Toronto St. Patricks and the Montreal Canadiens matched up in a 14-7 scoring battle.

Being played at the Montreal Arena, witnessed a staggering 21 goals scored, making it the highest-scoring NHL contest ever played.

Led by the staggering offensive player, Denneny netted 2 goals and provided 3 assists, and Noble had 3 goals and 1 assist throughout the game for the Patricks. 

The Canadiens featuring David Pitre and the attacking presence of Newsy Lalonde, fought valiantly on the ice as Lalonde bagged 6 goals and 1 assist, Cleghorn and Pitre scored 3 goals each leading to a 14-7 well-fought victory. 

The first period ended 7-1 in favor of the Canadiens, followed by a 4-3 lead in the second half while the third one ended in a 3-3 draw but the score at the end of the second half was all to lead the team to victory.

2. Edmonton Oilers Vs Chicago Blackhawks, 21 Goals

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NHL witnessed an offensive explosion as the Edmonton Oilers thrashed the Chicago Blackhawks by a 12-9 thriller on December 11, 1985.

The two teams combined for 21 goals, highlighting their offensive prowess and defensive vulnerabilities.

Led by their attacking duo, Yaremchuk scored two goals and 1 assist, while Murray also notched two goals and had two assists to his name. 

Gretzky provided 7 assists for Oiler's goals, and Anderson provided 3 assists and 3 goals. Kurri also bags 3 goals for the Oilers. 

However, the performances of the Blackhawks players were overshadowed as they lost the thrilling encounter by a 3-goal deficit.

Despite the offensive outburst, both the team's goalies faced a combined 90 shots with most faced in the first and second periods throughout the goals galore.

3. Minnesota North Stars Vs Edmonton Oilers, 20 Goals

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On January 4, 1984, the North Stars Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, witnessed an offensive explosion as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Minnesota North Stars 12-8.

This high-scoring game ended with a combined 20 goals, being one of the most crucial games in NHL history.

The star of the night, Wayne Gretzky, led the Oilers' offensive charge with a dominant performance, recording eight points, including four goals and four assists. 

Mark Messier also played a crucial role for Edmonton, contributing six assists.

The Oilers' offensive depth was on full throttle, with Jari Kurri completing a hat trick and several other players netting the goal.

The North Stars fought until the end but couldn't match the Oilers' offensive firepower despite Bill Goldsworthy's four goals and two assists.

4. Edmonton Oilers Vs Toronto Maple Leafs, 20 Goals

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Edmonton Oilers were outgunned by the Maple Leafs during the 9-11 scoring encounter on January 8, 1986.

The Maple Leafs were thrashed by the Oilers in the first quarter by 5 goals, but the Oilers bounced back in 2nd scoring 5 goals and conceded 2. 

The game was a wild offensive showcase, with both teams demonstrating impressive offensive firepower. The Maple Leafs, with the dominant attack, Frycer netted 4 goals and Courtnall scored 2 and one assist. 

Meanwhile, for the Oilers, their key player, Gretzky netted 3 goals and provided 3 assists bagging 6 points, Anderson with 2 goals and 1 assist. 

Jari Kurri alone provided five assists to his name and a goal with 6 total points throughout the game for the Oilers. 

Despite the performances, The Oilers were unable to catch the Maple Leafs which led to a well-fought defeat by 2 goal deficit.

5. Toronto Arenas Vs Montreal Wanderers, 19 goals

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The Toronto Arenas and the Montreal Wanderers clashed in a historic game with Montreal Wanderers clinching the game in a 9-10 thriller. 

The game was hosted on December 19, 1917, during the opening night of the inaugural NHL season. 

Arenas were led by Hebert in goal with Corbett Denneny, Alf Skinner, and Reg Noble carrying the forward lines. 

The Wanderers also have their formidable offensive weapons, including Hyland, Bell, and McDonald.

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams firing goals throughout the night with the Wanderers having their final laugh securing a victory.

The score was 3-5 in favor of Arenas in the first period, 4-2 in favor of Wanderers in the second period, and 3-1 in 3rd period. 

6. Montreal Canadiens Vs Quebec Bulldogs, 19 Goals

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On March 3, 1920, the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Bulldogs clashed in what would become a historic game engraved in NHL history.

The Canadiens unleashed a ruthless attack, ultimately crushing the Bulldogs by a score of 16-3. This game remains the highest-scoring single-team performance in NHL history.

The Canadiens came out firing on all cylinders, led by the legendary Georges Vezina in net and Howie Morenz and Didier Pitre in attack.

The Bulldogs struggled to contain the Canadiens' attack. and by the end of the first period, the score was already 4-0 in favor of the Canadiens.

The second and third periods saw more of the same, with the Canadiens adding another 12 goals to their tally for an enormous victory.

Lalonde bagged 4 goals whereas Pitre and Cleghorn netted 3 goals each for the Canadiens. 

7. Hamilton Tigers Vs Montreal Canadiens, 19 Goals

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On February 26, 1921, the Hamilton Tigers and the Montreal Canadiens locked horns in a high-scoring game, with the Canadiens emerging victorious, 13-6.

The game took place at the Montreal Arena, with the Canadiens jumped out to an early lead, capitalizing on the Tigers' defensive miscues.

Lalonde, a key offensive weapon for the Canadiens, scored 3 goals in the game. The Canadiens' attack was relentless, as they peppered Hamilton goaltender Howard Lockhart with shots.

Despite the deficit, the Tigers fought back with the likes of Joe Malone and McCarthy, with a combined four goals.

However, the Canadiens' offensive firepower was ultimately too much for the Tigers to handle with game ended with the win.

The game ended with 0-3 in favor of the Canadiens in the first period, 6-1 in the second period, and 5-4 in favor of the Tigers in the third period.

8. New York Rangers Vs Boston Bruins, 19 goals

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On March 4, 1944, The NY Rangers and the Boston Bruins in a high-scoring showdown with the Bruins emerging with a win. 

Counted one of the high-scoring NHL games, the contest was a back-and-forth affair with both teams firing all cylinders throughout the game. 

The first period alone saw 6 goals scored, setting the tone for an exciting offensive display. 

The duo of B. Cowley and A. Jackson had six goals and 3 assists combined to secure the Bruin's victory.

Though the Rangers won the third period by a 4-3 margin, it was insufficient to counter the 2-goal lead created by the Bruins during the 1st and 2nd quarters.

For the Rangers, Gauthier netted 3 goals, whereas MacDonald scored 2 goals and created 2 assists. Hiller also had 1 goal and 2 assists for the Rangers. 

9. Boston Bruins Vs Detroit Red Wings, 19 Goals

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The Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings competed in a thrilling tie that ended with the Red Wings winning by a 10-9 score.

The Red Wings led the scoreboard with a goal from Carl Liscombe in 7 minutes but were outthrown by Crawford's equalizer for the Bruins.

The 1st period ended with a 2-1 lead for the Red Wings by a goal from Howe in the 18th minute of the game.

The second was led by the Wings by a 5-3 score which increased their winning chances though they lost by 5-3 in the third period.

Cowley and Jackson led the scoring chart netting 3 goals each and an assist for Bruins whereas Liscombe scored 3 for the Red Wings.

Herb Cain netted a goal and provided four assists totaling 5 points to his name for the Boston Bruins. 

Red Wings showed dominance leading both the first and the second periods by 2-1 and 5-3 scores but lost the third period by 5-3. Eventhough they lost the third one, they ended the game with a win by 2 goal margin.

10. Minnesota North Stars Vs Vancouver Canucks, 19 Goals

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On October 7, 1983, the Minnesota North Stars and the Vancouver Canucks faced off in a high-scoring contest that ended in a thrilling 9-10 draw.

The game played at the Met Center saw both teams showcasing their offensive prowess and dominance throughout the game. 

The North Stars came with an early lead with the help of Bobby Smith and Neal Broten. However, the Canucks with an offensive attack of Thomas Gradin and Stan Smyl responded in kind, keeping the team in the game. 

During the third period, Dino Ciccarelli and Brian Bellows put the North Stars ahead, but the Canucks bounced back with Thomas Gradin's two crucial goals in the final minutes, securing a 9-10 victory leaving the North Stars with a hard-fought point.

11. Montreal Canadiens Vs Montreal Maroons, 18 Goals

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The game was on January 11, 1938, when the Maroons emerged victorious in a high-scoring battle against the Canadiens with an 11-7 score.

The game saw a combined 18 goals scored showcasing both team's offensive firepower.

The Maroons were fueled by the attacking presence of Trottier and Marker giving an early lead in the game ending the first period in 7-2.

However, the Canadiens refused to be outdone and fought back in the second half ending the second half scoring 2-2, 9-4 in total. 

Though the Canadiens bounced back to win the 3rd period by 3-2 with goals from Blake, Haynes, and Gagnon, it was not sufficient to cover the first-half lead taken by the Maroons. 

12. Toronto Maple Leafs Vs Detroit Red Wings, 18 goals

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The high-scoring game on March 17, 1946, ended with the Toronto Maple Leafs victory over Red Wings by 11-7.

The thrilling game had a combined 18 goals scored with the thrilling end to the third period with a 6-4 score. 

The Red Wings took an early lead with a goal from Lindsay which was later equaled by Apps in the fifth minute.  With the addition of another two goals from Stewart and Bodnar in 1st period, the Maple Leafs led the first period by 3-2.

The game was 5-3 in the favor of Maple Leafs till the second half but the third one saw the goals raining throughout both the nets. 

With 2 goals from Stewart and the other two from Bodnar, Hamilton, Taylor, and Schriner in the third period, the Maple leafs sealed the win.

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