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Feels Like The First Time: How Red Wings Have Fared In Initial Games Against Expansion Teams

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Detroit Red Wings, Seattle Kraken
The Red Wings edged the Seattle Kraken 4-3 in the first meeting between the two teams.

For the 27th time on Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings were facing a team for the very first time. Via their 4-3 shootout decision over the Seattle Kraken, Detroit improved to 18-7-2 in initial meetings with NHL expansion franchises.

Some quirks of these games: Detroit lost the first time against both the Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Wild. Two games ended in ties and two others in 1-0 Red Wings shutout victories.

Let’s look back at each of these first-time affairs.

October 22, 1967: St. Louis Blues 0 at Detroit 1

Roger Crozier made 30 saves for the shutout. Paul Henderson netted the game’s only goal in the third period.

October 26, 1967: Oakland Seals 2 at Detroit 8

It wasn’t a Gordie Howe hat-trick but it was close. Mr. Hockey counted two goals and two assists and was assessed a high-sticking major by referee Art Skov after carving Seals forward Wally Boyer for seven stitches to the head.

October 28, 1967: Red Wings 2 at Philadelphia Flyers 1

Henderson and Doug Roberts scored power-play goals for the Wings.

November 5,1967: Los Angeles Kings 6 at Detroit 4

The Kings played backup Wayne Rutledge over Detroit legend Terry Sawchuk and he made 30 saves.

Bill Flett netted a hat-trick for LA.

November 9, 1967: Pittsburgh Penguins 1 at Detroit 5

Floyd Smith paced the Detroit attack with a goal and an assist.

January 28, 1968: Red Wings 1 at Minnesota North Stars 2

Former Wing Ray Cullen and future Wing Wayne Connelly counted the goals for Minny.

October 23, 1970: Red Wings 3 at Buffalo Sabres 4

Facing his old team for the first time, Crozier made 30 saves.

Detroit squandered a 3-1 lead.

November 17, 1970: Red Wings 5 at Vancouver Canucks 2

Alex Delvecchio paced the Wings, counting a goal and an assist. Charlie Hodge took the loss, just as he did the first time the Oakland Seals faced Detroit.

November 1, 1972: Atlanta Flames 4 at Detroit 2

Lew Morrison’s two goals for the Flames offset a two-point night by Detroit’s Mickey Redmond.

December 2, 1972: Red Wings 4 at New York Islanders 1

This was the Marcel Dionne show. Figuring in all four scoring plays, the Detroit center was good for a goal and three assists.

October 19, 1974: Washington Capitals 4 at Detroit 6

It was Redmond counting and hat-trick and Danny Grant with a goal and two assist who led the way. Grant’s third-period goal snapped a 4-4 tie. He set up Redmond’s empty-net clinching goal.

November 30, 1974: Red Wings 1 at Kansas City Scouts 0

Dionne scored on the power play at 14:25 of the third period. Jim Rutherford blocked all 14 shots aimed his way.

October 13, 1979: Red Wings 3 at Edmonton 3

Wayne Gretzky was held to a solitary assist.

It was Mark Messier tallying the game-tying goal in the third period. For Detroit, Mike Foligno was leading the way with a goal and an assist.

October 17, 1979: Red Wings 5 at Winnipeg Jets 1

Powering the Detroit win was a second-period hat-trick from Vaclav Nedomansky. Pete Mahovlich assisted on all three goals.

November 4, 1979: Red Wings 1 at Quebec Nordiques 5

A first-period power-play goal by Dale McCourt gave Detroit the lead but it was all Nordiques after that. Rich Leduc scored once and set up two other goals.

January 6, 1980: Red Wings 2 at Hartford Whalers 1

Gordie Howe would be sufering defeat in his first-ever game against the Red Wings. Nedomansky and Dan Labraaten each counted a goal and an assist in the Detroit win.

November 14, 1991: Red Wings 3 at San Jose Sharks 3 (OT)

Falling behind 3-0, the Wings came charging back to tie on goals by Jimmy Carson, Kevin Miller and Gerard Gallant.

November 11, 1992: Red Wings 4 at Tampa Bay Lightning 6

With Chris Kontos scoring twice and the power play counting three times, the Bolts struck down the Wings. Among those in attendance on this historic night was New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

December 15, 1992: Red Wings 3 at Ottawa Senators 2 (OT)

Detroit twice rallied to tie. Sergei Fedorov’s second of the game at 2:10 of OT was the tally that would decide the matter.

October 8, 1993: Red Wings 7 at Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 2

The Wings provided the opposition in the first game in Ducks history. Keith Primeau scored twice and Bob Probert fought Stu Grimson. While sitting out a penalty, Probert began grabbing pucks with the Ducks’ first game logo on them out of the timekeeper’s bucket and down his hockey pants. Probie was figuring they’d probably be worth money someday.

February 16, 1994: Florida Panthers 3 at Detroit 7

Steve Chiasson and Ray Sheppard each scored twice for the Wings. Steve Yzerman contributed three assists.

October 21,1998: Nashville Predators 2 at Detroit 5

Darren McCarty was leading the cause, scoring twice. Yzerman and Larry Murphy each dished out a pair of assists.

October 7, 1999: Red Wings 7 at Atlanta Thrashers 1

Seven different Detroit players shared in the goal scoring against former Wings netminder Norm Maracle. Fedorov and Tomas Holmstrom each tallied a goal and two assists. Yzerman collected three assists.

October 22, 2000: Red Wings 2 at Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Kirk Maltby put in the winning marker at 2:01 of the exrta frame. Future Blue Jacket Fedorov assisted on both Wings goals.

December 27, 2000: Minnesota Wild 5 at Detroit 3

Fedorov had given the Wings a 2-0 advantage by the 8:07 mark of the first period. Then it all went Wild. Scott Pellerin scored twice for Minnesota.

October 13, 2017: Red Wings 6 at Vegas Golden Knights 3

Detroit scored four unaswered third-period goals, handing the Golden Knights their first-ever loss. Gustav Nyquist netted two goals. Henrk Zetterberg contributed a goal and three assists.

December 1, 2021: Seattle Kraken 3 at Detroit 4 (SO)

Adam Erne potted the winning goal in the shootout. Rookie Lucas Raymond regsitered his team-leading and NHL rookie-leading 10th goal.

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