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26 Years Ago Today: LA Kings Play First Game in [Las] Vegas

Breaking down footage from the 1991 game as the Kings defeated the NY Rangers in the Caesars Palace parking lot on the Las Vegas Strip

by PumperNicholl @PumperNicholl / LAKings.com

Last night may have been the first ever home game for the [Las] Vegas Golden Knights, but its been a long, long time since the first ever game was played in the Sin City.

It was 26 years ago today that the Kings played the NY Rangers outdoors in the Caesars Palace parking lot in Las Vegas.

The idea of the NHL playing outside of a rink went over so well that the league plans on having the Chicago Blackhawks play exclusively outdoors for the 2019-20 season.

So how did that game in 1991 set up the NHL's outdoor aspirations?

Let's take a look and break down the footage:


...it's so beautiful.

The temperature was in the mid-80s, but the ice survived, and the Kings scored five consecutive goals after falling behind 2-0.

There was even a sellout crowd of 13,007 on hand to watch it all unfold.


This fan gets that you should never forget the "Las" in Las Vegas.

The game was, understandably, a spectacle.


At least you'll never see anything ridiculous at a Golden Knights ga--

Tweet from @LAKings: Meanwhile, in [Las] Vegas... pic.twitter.com/57ZK0LKDaz
...I spoke way to soon.

The game itself was an entirely different experience for the players, as noted by then-Kings captain Wayne Gretzky.

"We were a little bit in awe and I'm sure [the Rangers] were too," said Wayne Gretzky, who scored the game's final goal. "We kept looking at each other and couldn't believe we were playing hockey in 80-degree weather. But it was real nice."


#Nice

It's pretty crazy to think about how far we've come from a technological perspective. Yet, in 1991, we were still able to play hockey outdoors, and attach gigantic GoPros onto goaltenders helmets.

The latter technology, which was then dubbed the "Hrudey Cam" for goalie Kelly Hrudey (look, hockey people aren't exactly the most celever bunch), showed us a whole new world on the ice.

We saw Hrudey fight off shots, make big saves, and celebrate with teammates.

It also provided us with more evidence that professional hockey players are just giant children.


"Hi mom," indeed, Bob Kudelski.

Check out the entire video below:

Video: 1991 Exhibition: Kings, Rangers game in Vegas

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