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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 10: Golden Knights become first expansion team to start 3-0-0

Gretzky has assist in NHL debut; Predators play inaugural game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor


2017: The Vegas Golden Knights score four goals in the first period and defeat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 at T-Mobile Arena in their home opener, becoming the first expansion team to win its first three games.

Following an emotional ceremony that honors victims and first responders after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, Tomas Nosek scores the first home goal in Golden Knights history 2:31 into the game. Defenseman Deryk Engelland, a Las Vegas resident, makes it 2-0 at 4:18, and James Neal scores at 6:15 and 10:42 to put the Golden Knights ahead 4-0. Marc-Andre Fleury makes 31 saves for his third straight win.

Neal's first goal is the game-winner. He becomes the second player in the expansion era (since 1967) to score the winning goal in each of his team's first three games, joining Brian Propp of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1982-83.



1970: The Buffalo Sabres win their NHL debut by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 at the Civic Arena. Jim Watson scores the first goal in Sabres history 5:01 into in the second period, and Gilbert Perreault gets the game-winner at 11:26 of the third. It's the first of his 512 goals on the way to induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

On the same night, Al Arbour makes his NHL coaching debut with the St. Louis Blues in a 3-1 win against the New York Rangers at St. Louis Arena. Arbour coaches the Blues for 107 games before being fired, then goes on to coach 1,500 games with the New York Islanders, guiding them to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83.


1974: Sabres rookie forward Danny Gare scores 18 seconds into his first NHL game. It's the second-fastest goal by a rookie in his NHL debut; the record is 15 seconds, set by Gus Bodnar of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 30, 1943. The Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins 9-5 at Memorial Auditorium in their season opener. Gare finishes his first NHL season with 31 goals.


1979: Wayne Gretzky makes his NHL debut with the Edmonton Oilers and gets his first point, an assist, in a 4-2 road loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Gretzky's assist comes on the first NHL goal in Oilers history, by defenseman Kevin Lowe at 9:49 of the first period. Dave Hunter scores just over five minutes later to tie the game 2-2, but power-play goals by John Marks at 18:55 of the first period and Bob Murray at 15:36 of the second are enough to give the Blackhawks the win. 

Gretzky doesn't score his first NHL goal until his third game, but he finishes the season with 51 goals and 137 points, tying him with Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings for the NHL lead.


1987: Doug Jarvis of the Hartford Whalers plays in his NHL-record 964th consecutive game, a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers. But game No. 964 will be his last. One night later, the streak ends when Jarvis misses Hartford's game against the Boston Bruins because of an injury. He is sent to Binghamton of the American Hockey League as a player-coach and never plays another NHL game.

Video: Memories: Jarvis sets record with 964th straight game


1989: Players from the Soviet Union face each other for the first time in an NHL game. The New Jersey Devils lineup includes defensemen Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Starikov; the visiting Calgary Flames use forwards Sergei Priakin and Sergei Makarov. Priakin scores the game-winning goal and Makarov has an assist in Calgary's 4-2 victory.


1998: Brian Sutter earns his 300th victory as an NHL coach when the Flames defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 in Tokyo. A hat trick by Theo Fleury helps Sutter become the first in NHL history to get 300 wins as a coach after scoring 300 goals as a player.

On the same night, the Nashville Predators make their NHL debut at home against the Florida Panthers. Florida goalie Kirk McLean makes 26 saves and Ray Whitney scores a third-period power-play goal in a 1-0 victory.


2002: At age 19, Stanislav Chistov becomes the youngest player in NHL history to get four points in his first game. He scores a goal and has three assists to help the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim defeat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 at Savvis Center.


2015: The Panthers set a modern-day NHL record for the fastest four goals from the start of a season in their 7-1 opening-night victory against the Flyers against the Flyers at BB&T Center. Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen score in the game's first 6:46 to give Florida a 4-0 lead.


2019: Patrick Marleau scores two goals in his return to the San Jose Sharks, sparking them to their first victory of the season, 5-4 against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The 40-year-old forward becomes the eighth player in NHL history to score goals with the same franchise before turning 20 and after turning 40. He does it one day after signing with the team he spent 19 seasons with before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent for two seasons. It's also Marleau's 789th consecutive NHL game, sixth on the all-time list.

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