As of this writing, twenty-four National Hockey League goaltenders (and three World Hockey Association goaltenders) have started their NHL/WHA careers with a bang, recording a shutout in their league debut.

1 November 16, 1926 Hal Winkler NY Rangers MTL Maroons 1-0
2 November 15, 1928 Tiny Thompson Boston PIT Pirates 1-0
3 January 30, 1937 Alfie Moore NY Americans Montreal 4-0
4 October 11, 1953 Dave Gatherum Detroit Toronto 4-0 22
5 December 17, 1955 Bob Perreault Montreal Chicago 5-0 18
6 January 14, 1956 Claude Pronovost Boston Montreal 2-0 31
7 November 2, 1957 Marcel Paille NY Rangers Boston 5-0 23
8 December 23, 1967 Andre Gill Boston NY Rangers 4-0 41
W1 October 15, 1972 Pete Donnelly New York (WHA) Philadelphia (WHA) 5-0
9 January 14, 1973 Wayne Thomas Montreal Vancouver 3-0 20
W2 December 29, 1973 Ron Grahame Houston (WHA) Chicago (WHA) 3-0
10 October 11, 1974 Gary Simmons California Atlanta 3-0 24
W3 December 14, 1974 Bob Blanchet San Diego (WHA) Indianapolis (WHA) 2-0
11 October 26, 1978 Mario Lessard Los Angeles Buffalo 6-0 18
12 March 6, 1979 Robbie Moore Philadelphia Colorado 5-0 22
13 February 26, 1984 Mario Gosselin Quebec St. Louis 4-0 26
14 November 1, 1985 Daren Puppa Buffalo Edmonton 2-0 37
15 November 14, 1996 Mike Fountain Vancouver New Jersey 3-0 40
16 November 28, 2001 Jussi Markkanen Edmonton Anaheim 2-0 27
17 January 8, 2003 Michael Leighton Chicago Phoenix 0-0 31
18 October 12, 2005 Yann Danis Montreal Atlanta 2-0 32
19 October 21, 2006 Mike Smith Dallas Phoenix 4-0 22
20 April 1, 2009 Al Montoya Phoenix Colorado 3-0 23
21 April 7, 2014 John Gibson Anaheim Vancouver 3-0 18
22 November 16, 2014 Troy Grosenick San Jose Carolina 2-0 45
23 November 30, 2015 Garret Sparks Toronto Edmonton 3-0 24
24 November 11, 2021 Zach Fucale Washington Detroit 2-0 21


  1. While playing with the New York Rangers on November 16, 1926, Hal Winkler shut out the Montreal Maroons, 1-0. Winkler gets an asterisk here, because he had played several years in the big league WCHL/WHL with Edmonton and Calgary before moving to the National Hockey League.
  2. On November 15, 1928, Cecil "Tiny" Thompson and the Boston Bruins shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1-0. This was just the start of a great career for Thompson, of course - a career that saw him inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1959 (after tallying eighty more regular-season NHL shutouts, and seven more in the postseason.
  3. Alfie Moore of the New York Americans whitewashed the Montreal Canadiens, 4-0, on January 30, 1937. The thirty-one year old struggled to stay in the NHL after that, playing just twenty-three more games in the League (including three playoff games). He never did record another shutout (then again, one NHL shutout is far better than most of us will ever do).
  4. Dave Gatherum filled in for an injured Terry Sawchuk on October 11, 1953, and he and the Detroit Red Wings blanked Toronto, 4-0, with Gatherum making 22 saves. Gatherum would carry the streak into his next game (October 16), and his streak of 100 minutes, 21 seconds to start a National Hockey League career without a goal was a League record until late 2011. Despite allowing just three goals on 88 shots in his three-game fill-in assignment, Gatherum never played in the NHL again.
  5. Bob Perreault of the Montreal Canadiens shut down the Chicago Black Hawks, 5-0, on December 17, 1955. Perreault made 18 saves. Twenty-four at the time, Perreault popped up in the NHL every now and then, but enjoyed a long minor-league career before reappearing with the WHA's Los Angeles Sharks for one game in 1972-73.
  6. Claude Pronovost may be best known for his hockey-playing brothers, Jean (who played fourteen NHL seasons) and Marcel (who played twenty-one). However, Pronovost has some history of his own - on January 14, 1956, Claude was loaned by the Montreal Canadiens to the Boston Bruins. To return the favor, Pronovost and the Bruins shut out Montreal, 2-0, with Pronovost making 31 saves.
  7. On November 2, 1957, Marcel Paille and the New York Rangers shut out Boston, 5-0 (with 23 saves for Paille). Paille struggled to stay in the six-team NHL, but did record a 207:27 shutout streak with the AHL's Springfield Indians in 1961-62.
  8. Andre Gill was brought up to the Boston Bruins when both Boston netminders, Ed Johnston and Gerry Cheevers, were felled with injuries. On December 23, 1967, Andre recorded a 4-0 blanking of the New York Rangers, with Gill making an impressive 41 saves. Andre spent most of his hockey career with the AHL's Hershey Bears, but did play two seasons with the WHA's Chicago Cougars.
  9. Pete Donnelly is the first member of this list to make his big league debut in the new World Hockey Association. Donnelly made his WHA debut on October 15, 1972, and he and the New York Raiders shut down Philadelphia, 5-0.
  10. In Wayne Thomas' debut with the Montreal Canadiens, he shut out (with 20 saves) Vancouver, 3-0, on January 14, 1973. Thomas was a 1970s fixture in the NHL, with stops in Montreal, Toronto, and the New York Rangers.
  11. After a standout career at the University of Denver, Ron Grahame joined the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros in December, 1973. On the 29th of December, Ron and the Aeros knocked off the Chicago Cougars, 3-0. Ron would spend four seasons in Houston before jumping to the NHL with Boston, Los Angeles, and Quebec.
  12. Gary Simmons and the California Seals shut down (and shut out) the Atlanta Flames, 3-0, on October 11, 1974. Simmons made 24 saves for the victory. Simmons played five seasons in the bigs.
  13. Bob Blanchet joined the World Hockey Association's San Diego Mariners in time for their December 14, 1974 contest against the Indianapolis Racers. Blanchet and San Diego shut down the Racers, 2-0.
  14. Mario Lessard received great goal support - six goals - as he and the Los Angeles Kings shut out the Buffalo Sabres, 6-0, on October 26, 1978, with Lessard making 18 saves. Lessard spent his entire six-season NHL career with the Kings.
  15. On March 6, 1979, the diminutive (five-foot-five) Robbie Moore and the Philadelphia Flyers shut out (with 22 saves) the Colorado Rockies, 5-0. Moore spent much of his time in the American Hockey League, after a standout collegiate career at the University of Michigan.
  16. The highly-touted Mario Gosselin made his Quebec Nordiques debut on February 26, 1984 (shortly after the Winter Olympics), and he and the Nordiques shut out St. Louis, 4-0 (with Gosselin making 26 saves). Gosselin had a long and winding career in the League, mostly with Quebec.
  17. Daren Puppa's National Hockey League debut, on November 1, 1985, was a daunting one, in Edmonton against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Oilers. Puppa stopped thirty-seven Edmonton shots in a 2-0 win. Puppa had a long NHL career in Buffalo, Toronto, and Tampa Bay, playing the star role with the Lightning late in his tenure.
  18. Not only did Mike Fountain shut out the home town New Jersey Devils, 3-0, on November 14, 1996, the Vancouver rookie nearly scored on an empty New Jersey net. Fountain stopped forty Devil shots in the win.
  19. After playing multiple seasons in Finland, Jussi Markkanen joined the Edmonton Oilers, and received his first start on November 28, 2001. Markkanen started off strong, stopping twenty-seven Mighty Ducks of Anaheim shots in a 2-0 victory. He finished his career in Europe recently, with his most notable NHL performance being his role in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.
  20. Michael Leighton may have the most impressive performance in his first National Hockey League game. On January 8, 2003, Leighton and the Chicago Blackhawks duelled Zac Bierk and the Phoenix Coyotes, with both squads putting up shutouts in a 0-0 draw. Leighton stopped 31 shots.
  21. Twenty-four year old Yann Danis became the third Montreal Canadiens netminder to record a shutout in his debut on October 12, 2005. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers, Danis stopped thirty-two shots in a 2-0 win.
  22. Mike Smith has a unique feat on the list - Mike made his National Hockey League debut on October 21, 2006, with Smith and the Dallas Stars shutting out the hometown Phoenix Coyotes, 4-0, with Smith making twenty-two saves. Three years earlier, Smith not only recorded a shutout in his professional debut (with Lexington of the ECHL), he also scored a goal into the Dayton net.
  23. Highly regarded in the 2004 NHL draft, Al Montoya took a few years to make the big leagues, but Montoya made the best of his first opportunity. With his Phoenix Coyotes in Denver to play the Colorado Avalanche on April 1, 2009, Montoya stopped twenty-three Avalanche shots to earn a 3-0 victory.
  24. John Gibson's league debut was much anticipated, and Gibson was up to the task. On April 7, 2014, Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks shut out the hometown Vancouver Canucks, 3-0, with Gibson stopping 18 shots. At 20 years, 297 days, Gibson became the youngest since Puppa to record a shutout in his league debut. On May 10, Gibson also recorded a shutout in his playoff debut, knocking off the Los Angeles Kings in a 2-0, 28-save performance. Gibson became the first goaltender since Thompson to record shutouts in both their regular-season and postseason NHL debuts.
  25. Troy Grosenick set a (known) National Hockey League record for saves in an NHL debut shutout, turning aside 45 Carolina shots in a 2-0 San Jose victory on November 16, 2014. The undrafted goaltender out of Union College stopped nearly as many shots in the first period (sixteen) as his counterpart did all game.
  26. Garret Sparks turned aside twenty-four Edmonton Oiler shots in a 3-0 Toronto victory on November 30, 2015. Sparks held the game scoreless in the first period, as the Oilers outshot the Maple Leafs, 8-3.
  27. Zach Fucale finally made his National Hockey League debut with the Washington Capitals after being drafted in June 2013 by the Canadiens. Fucale made the best of his opportunity, stopping 21 Red Wings shots in a 2-0 win over Detroit.



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