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Kings Top-Five Preseason Games Ever

by Melody Huskey / Los Angeles Kings
Bill White scored the first goal in Kings history - unofficially - in the preseason in the Kings 7-3 loss to Minnesota.

With the Kings preseason schedule released on Wednesday, LAKings.com takes a look at the top-five preseason games in Kings history.

1. Sept. 18, 1967 - Kings First Game
The Kings played their first game ever, a 7-3 loss against the Minnesota North Stars at their training facility in Guelph, Ont. Veteran goaltender Terry Sawchuk was not in net for the Kings, with Jacques Caron and Wayne Rutledge splitting time in net in the loss for Los Angeles. Bill White, Brian Smith and Real Lemieux scored for the Kings and Eddie Joyal had two assists, but they never led in the game. Leo Thiffault had two for Minnesota while Bill Collins had a goal and an assist.

2. Sept. 20, 1999 - Last game at the Forum
The Kings closed out their 32-year history at the Forum with an 8-1 preseason victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Kings held their first game at the arena on Dec. 30, 1967, a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. All totaled, the Kings played in 1204 regular season games at the Forum, posting an all-time mark of 572-454-178 for 1,322 points, with their best home record coming in 1990-91, posting a 26-9-5 mark.The Kings also played host to 69 Stanley Cup playoff games, posting a 32-37 mark in the post season; hosted two Stanley Cup Finals games, a 4-3 OT loss to the Montreal Canadiens on June 5, 1993 and a 3-2 OT loss to the Canadiens on June 7 as well as the 33rd NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 10, 1981, a 4-1 win for the Campbell Conference in which the entire Triple Crown line of Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor were in the starting lineup.

As for the game, the Kings used a six-goal second period to rout the Mighty Ducks, scoring the first eight goals of the game. Goals were scored by Ziggy Palffy, Jaroslav Modry, Craig Johnson, Jason Podollan, Donald Audette, Len Barrie, and Audette again for a 7-0 lead in the second. Brad Chartand extended the lead to 8-0 in the third before Ruslan Salei scored with just over three minutes remaining in the game to ruin the Stephan Fiset's shutout. Fiset stopped 30-of-31 in playing all 60 minutes of this fight-filled goodbye to the Forum.

3. Sept. 27, 1991 - First outdoor NHL exhibition game
The Kings defeated the NY Rangers before a crowd of 13,000 in an outdoor exhibition game played at Caesar's Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. The Las Vegas strip provided the background for the first ever NHL exhibition game to be held outdoors. It was the first hockey game played in Las Vegas since 1968 - in mid-80 degree temperatures. "We were a little bit in awe and I'm sure (the Rangers) were too," said Wayne Gretzky, who tallied a goal, about the outdoor game. "We kept looking at each other and couldn't believe we were playing hockey in 80-degree weather. But it was real nice." The game was the Kings first in Las Vegas, precursor to what has become an annual preseason event called Frozen Fury.

4. Sept. 22, 1998 - Five unanswered goals
Luc Robitaille scored three goals and added two assists to lead the Kings to an 8-3 win over the Mighty Ducks in a preseason game at the Forum. After 27 minutes of play, Anaheim was up 2-0, but the Kings scored five unanswered goals in the second period, including two of Robitaille's three tallies. Steve Duchesne had three assists, Rob Blake had a goal and two assists,
Olli Jokinen had a goal and an assist and Sandy Moger, Josh Green and Pavel Rosa each had a goal to complete the Kings scoring. Los Angeles goaltender Stefan Fiset stopped 24 of Anaheim's 27 shots for the win.

5. Sept. 20, 1997 - First Frozen Fury
The first ever Frozen Fury debuted with a bang, as Kings center Donald MacLean netted the game winner 2:51 into overtime to give L.A. a 4-3 victory. MacLean's goal came after Colorado forward Joe Sakic sent the game into overtime by scoring with just 40 seconds left in the third period, knotting the score at three. Third-period goals from Olli Jokinen and Craig Johnson helped Los Angeles gain an edge after trailing 2-1 through two periods.

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