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This Date in NHL History

Oct. 6: Gretzky debuts with Kings

Plus: Canadiens retire Richard's No. 9; Wild play first game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: Oct. 6

1988: Wayne Gretzky's debut with the Los Angeles Kings is a Hollywood smash.

Gretzky scores on his first shot since being acquired by the Kings in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers less than two months earlier, then assists on three more goals in an 8-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings.

The game draws a full house of 16,005 to the Forum in Inglewood, California, the first opening-night sellout in Kings history.

Video: Memories: Gretzky's first game with the Kings

 

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1955: Goaltender Glenn Hall begins a streak that likely will never be equaled when he takes the ice for the Red Wings' season-opening 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. It's the first of 502 consecutive starts for Hall, by far the longest such streak in NHL history. Hall is traded to the Blackhawks before the 1957-58 season, but the streak rolls on until he finally has to come out of a game on Nov. 7, 1962, when his back tightens up midway through the first period against the Boston Bruins. He's relieved by Denis DeJordy. Three nights later, the consecutive games streak officially ends at 502 when DeJordy plays in a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum.

 

1960: The Canadiens retire Maurice Richard's No. 9 prior to their season-opening game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Forum. The honor comes a few weeks after Richard announces that he's retiring. He's the second player in Canadiens history to have his number raised to the rafters at the Forum, joining Howie Morenz (No. 7, in 1937). The celebration continues into the game, when Jacques Plante gets his 48th NHL shutout in a 5-0 victory.

 

1976: Minnesota North Stars forward Roland Eriksson tied an NHL record by getting four assists in his first game, matching the performance of Detroit's Earl Reibel in 1953. Despite Eriksson's efforts, the North Stars lose 6-5 to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

 

1982: For the first time, the Quebec Nordiques ice a lineup that includes all three Stastny brothers. Peter Stastny and Anton Stastny, in their second NHL season after defecting from Czechoslovakia, are joined by older brother Marian Stastny, and all three contribute to a 6-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Memorial Auditorium. Peter scores three goals and has an assist, Anton has a goal and an assist, and Marian has two assists.

 

1993: Roger Neilson becomes the first in NHL history to coach six teams when he works the first game for the expansion Florida Panthers. Florida has a one-goal lead with less than four minutes remaining but settles for a 4-4 tie against the Blackhawks at Chicago Stadium.

 

2000: Rookie Marian Gaborik scores the first goal in Minnesota Wild history, but the Wild lose 3-1 at the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in their first NHL game.

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