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This Date in NHL History

Sept. 27: NHL goes outdoors for first time with game in Las Vegas

Plus: Modern offside rule approved; expansion Islanders play initial preseason game

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

Kings, Rangers play in Vegas

1991 Exhibition: Kings, Rangers game in Vegas

In September 1991, the Kings and Rangers faced off at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where the game time temperature was 85 degrees

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1991: The NHL goes outdoors for the first time when the Los Angeles Kings defeat the New York Rangers 5-2 in a game played on a rink built over the parking lot of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Despite temperatures in the mid-80s, the ice holds up well and the sellout crowd of 13,007 sees the Kings score five consecutive goals after falling behind 2-0.

"We were a little bit in awe and I'm sure [the Rangers] were too," says Wayne Gretzky, who scores 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."

More than two decades later, the Kings use the success of the 1991 game in their pitch for an outdoor game in Southern California. It works; the NHL stages a regular-season game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, 2014. In 2017, the NHL comes to Las Vegas on a full-time basis when the Vegas Golden Knights begin play as the League's 31st team.



1930: The NHL Board of Governors passes a new rule mandating that "The puck must be propelled into the attacking zone before any player of the attacking side can enter that zone." This is the modern offside rule.


1972: The NHL comes to Long Island when 11,053 fans turn out at Nassau Coliseum to see the expansion New York Islanders lose 6-4 to the Rangers in a preseason game. The regular season isn't any better for the Islanders, who set League records for fewest wins (12) and points (30) in a season.


2018: The Carolina Hurricanes unveil their plan to turn back the clock by wearing Hartford Whalers uniforms for two games during the 2018-19 season. The Hurricanes, who played 18 NHL seasons in Hartford before moving to Carolina in 1997, announce that they'll wear green Whalers uniforms when they host the Boston Bruins on Dec. 23 and for their visit to Boston on March 5.

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