Skip to main content

Headlines

This Date in NHL History

Oct. 6: Gretzky shines in first game with Kings

Plus: Canadiens retire Richard's No. 9; Golden Knights win NHL debut

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, acquired by the Kings in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers less than two months earlier, scores on his first shot and 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

 

MORE MOMENTS

1955: Goaltender Glenn Hall begins a streak that likely will never be equaled when he takes the ice for the Red Wings in their 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 streak officially ends when DeJordy goes all the way in a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens at the Forum.

On the same night, Toe Blake is a winner in his NHL coaching debut when the Canadiens defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 at the Forum. Jacques Plante makes 23 saves for his 11th NHL shutout. Blake guides Montreal to the Stanley Cup in each of his first five seasons as coach.

 

1960: The Canadiens retire Maurice Richard's No. 9 prior to their season-opening game against the 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 Plante gets his 48th NHL shutout in a 5-0 victory.

 

1976: Minnesota North Stars forward Roland Eriksson ties an NHL record by getting four assists in his first game, matching the performance of Detroit's Dutch 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's behind the bench for the expansion Florida Panthers' first game. 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.

 

2017: The NHL's 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights, wins its first game by rallying to defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 at American Airlines Center. James Neal scores twice in the third period for Vegas; the second goal comes with 2:44 remaining. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes 45 saves. Vegas becomes the first NHL expansion team to win its debut since the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning each do it in 1992.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.