Former NHL goaltender Dave Dryden has passed away at the age of 81.

Dryden, the older brother of Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden, played 203 career NHL games with the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers.

On March 20, 1971 at the Montreal Forum, Dave - then with the visiting Sabres - and Ken became the first siblings to face each other in goal in an NHL game.

"The National Hockey League mourns the recent passing of former goaltender, equipment innovator, educator and philanthropist Dave Dryden," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. "Respected and liked by all who were lucky enough to know him, Dryden made contributions to our game beyond his 14 seasons tending goal as a pro in the NHL and WHA – including a memorable game when he and brother, Ken, became the first siblings to play goal against each other in the NHL.

"In the mid-1970s, he reimagined the goalie mask, designing the combination fiberglass helmet and birdcage front that greatly increased protection, transformed the way the position could be played and remains the most popular in use today. After retirement, he worked with the League on refinements to equipment, always focused on better protecting athletes. He also pursued a lengthy post-playing career as an elementary school principal and ran the bed-providing charity Sleeping Children Around the World that his parents founded.

"We send our deepest condolences to Dave’s wife, Sandra, their two children and six grandchildren and all whose lives and careers were improved by his work. And, in his name, the NHL will be making a donation to Sleeping Children Around the World."