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Bruins Beat Kings, 5-4, in Overtime as Simmer Scores the Winning Goal

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Times Staff Writer

Charlie Simmer didn’t take a shot when the Kings played the Boston Bruins to a 6-6 overtime tie two weeks ago at the Forum.

But Simmer, who was traded from the Kings to the Boston Bruins last October, came back to beat his old club in Monday night’s rematch. He scored the game-winning goal with 39 seconds left in overtime to lead the Bruins to a 5-4 win before 12,693 fans at Boston Garden.

“He (Simmer) just came out of the blue, and then just one pass and boom!” King defenseman Mark Hardy said. “It could have been anyone, but it happened that he got it.”

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The Kings led, 4-3, late in the third period, but Bruin center Ken Linseman got a goal to tie the game with 59 seconds left in regulation, forcing a five-minute overtime period.

“I don’t think you could say that I beat the Kings,” Simmer said. “I think the Bruins beat the Kings.

“I try not to let playing the Kings affect me. Friendship is friendship, but this is a business. Actually, I think the two worst games I’ve played have been against the Kings. Tonight, they bottled me up in front of the net really well until the third period. But to score the game-winner makes up for it.

“I know the Kings are disappointed because they played so well and didn’t get anything out of it.”

Simmer won the game when he deflected a pass from the corner by teammate Tom Fergus past King goalie Bob Janecyk for his 24th goal of the season.

“Fergus made a great play,” Bruin Coach Gerry Cheevers said. “It wasn’t a lollipop pass; he made a good hard pass to Charlie. And only somebody like Charlie could score that type of goal. That was a tough game for the Kings to lose.”

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Said Simmer in describing the goal: “We were coming up the ice, and Fergus made a good play on (King defenseman Craig) Redmond and got the puck to me. I was able to get a half-step on (King center) Bernie Nicholls, and I redirected Fergus’ pass into the net.”

The Kings took the loss hard.

“It doesn’t matter that Charlie scored it,” King captain Terry Ruskowski said. “Just losing makes it tough, especially when you have a chance to get two points (for a win), and walk out of here with nothing.”

Said center Marcel Dionne: “We didn’t deserve to lose this game. It was one of the best games we’ve played here in years.”

For a while, it looked as if the Kings might win their first game at Boston Garden since 1981.

Trailing, 2-0, in the second period, the Kings scored three straight goals. Ruskowski scored the first one at 10:32 of the second period, and Dionne bounced a shot off Bruin defender Mats Thelin for his 25th goal of the season to tie the score at 2-2 just 3:33 into the third period.

The Kings took the lead when rookie center Bill O’Dwyer scored his first National Hockey League goal at 6:22 of the third period.

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O’Dwyer, who grew up in Boston and played hockey at Boston College, was elated after scoring. He did a little dance as he was mobbed by his teammates.

“It’s always a thrill to score your first NHL goal, but to do it in Boston was a great feeling,” O’Dwyer said. “I grew up watching the Bruins play. My whole family and my wife’s family was here. And I must have had another 20 to 25 friends here.”

The Bruins tied the game at 3-3 with 11:12 left when rookie left wing Geoff Courtnall deflected a shot off Janecyk’s shoulder and into the net off the post.

Right wing Jim Fox gave the Kings a 4-3 lead when he scored his 19th goal of the season with 8:48 left.

“The puck just bounced to me, and I shot it,” Fox said. “You’ve got to give the Bruins credit, but life is not fair. We played a better game than they did. The tying goal hit a (bleeping) skate and went into the net.”

With just 59 seconds left in regulation, the Bruins tied the game at 4-4 when Linseman deflected a shot by teammate Mike O’Connell off the skate of a King defenseman.

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“We deserved better, but we didn’t get it,” King Coach Pat Quinn said. “The next step we have to take toward being a good team is to learn how to handle the type of situation when we have the lead.

“They got lucky on the tying goal, but they made a hell of a play on the game-winner.”

King Notes King center Marcel Dionne needs just two goals to tie Bobby Hull for third place on the all-time league goal scoring list . . . The Kings are 16-16-8 at the halfway point of the season. Last year they were 13-21-6 at the 40-game mark. The Bruins are 17-16-7, as compared to 25-12-3 at the midway point last season.

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