September 27 NHL History
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.
1991: The NHL goes outdoors 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,” said 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 League stages a regular-season game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, 2014.