The Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres are both celebrating their 40th anniversaries this season. Let's take a look back to the Canucks first game in NHL history - October 9th, 1970 - a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
The game was of course delayed by celebrations and dignitaries. A 73 man pipe band called the British Columbia Beefeater Band wowed the crowds before local singer Juliette Syska sang "O Canada!" to a big round of applause.
Premiere W.A.C. Bennett and Chief Dan George helped Mayor Tom Campbell drop the ceremonial puck. NHL president Clarence Campbell and the Stanley Cup were both on hand as well, but it was 87 year old Cyclone Taylor - the only surviving member of the Vancouver Millionaires 1915 Stanley Cup championship - who got the loudest round of approval.
Bob Pulford and Orland Kurtenbach got into a fight just 4:26 into the game. Ross Lonsberry of the Kings scored the first goal of the game, a power play maker at 9:26 of the second period. Barry Wilkins finally gave the Canucks fans something to cheer about a 2:14 of the third period - and became the answer to a great trivia question at the same time. He scored the first goal in Canucks history, beating Kings netminder Denis Dejordy. But eight minutes later Bob Berry scored his second goal of the game to cement the win for the Kings. Goaltender George Gardner took the loss for the Canucks.
The full boxscore of the game can accessed here.
By the way, the Canucks (and the Sabres) paid $4 million for the right to the join the league. Who did the Canucks get in the expansion draft? Gary Doak, Orland Kurtenbach, Ray Cullen, Pat Quinn, Rosaire Paiement, Darryl Sly, Jim Wiste, Danny Johnson, Barry Wilkens, Ralph Stewart, Mike Corrigan, Wayne Maki, Ed Hatoum, Paul Popiel, Ron Ward, John Schella, Bob Dillabough, Garth Rizutto, Dunc Wilson and Charlie Hodge.