Thursday, April 05, 2018
Stan's First NHL game
For most people, it's fairly easy to remember the first NHL game you ever saw. [I recounted mine, the night that a journeyman named Bob Cook became the best player I'd ever seen, here: It Happened at the Coliseum … on MARCH 3rd
The first NHL game our friend and colleague Stan Fischler saw occurred 30 years earlier. With Stan retiring tonight after a truly remarkable career, I thought you might enjoy reliving that game, played at the old Garden on 8th Avenue and West 50th Street.
This box score is a treasure trove of fun .. with a funny Isles tie.
The Rangers beat the Blackhawks 5-3 that night... in overtime. (Overtime was a 10-minute period, with no sudden death).
Bryan Hextall, Sr., who 31 months earlier had scored the overtime goal to win the 1940 Stanley Cup for the Blueshirts, scored the first overtime goal.
Hextall then assisted on HHOFer Lynn Patrick's overtime tally; the final goal of the first NHL game Stan saw was scored at a Bobby Nystrom-like 7:11 of overtime.
The Ranger netminder that night -- the (in)famous Steve "The Puck Goes-insky" Buzinski. Two nights earlier Buzinski had allowed Rocket Richard's first NHL goal.
The story I read said that Stan was most excited to see the Bentley brothers that night -- sure enough Doug Bentley scored twice for Chicago and Max assisted on Doug's first goal.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick