At the three-quarters mark of his fourth consecutive phenomenal season, Wayne Gretzky is back on his goal-a-game pace.
Gretzky's linemate Jari Kurri, pressing him for the goal-scoring title, had a hat trick in the second period, while Glenn Anderson also scored three goals. The Oilers improved the best record in the league to 42-12-6.
In 60 games, Gretzky has 60 goals, Kurri 57. Not only is Gretzky on a pace that will give him 80 or more goals for the third time, but he has 167 points on his way to more than 200 for the third time in four seasons.
Gretzky began to take apart NHL scoring records during the 1981-82 season when he scored 92 goals and 212 points, both still records. Despite double and triple-teaming since, the Gretzky pace has slowed only slightly.
In his last 294 games Gretzky has scored 310 goals and 770 points.
With four goals and four assists in the last two games, Gretzky has emerged from what for him was a slump. In the previous seven games, he failed to score a point in two of them and had only three goals. Only for Gretzky is that a slump.
The Oilers, who trailed, 2-0, early in the second period, scored six consecutive goals to turn the game into a romp.
It may have been a costly win, though. Goaltender Grant Fuhr suffered a shoulder injury late in the first period and will probably be out a week to 10 days. One minute into the second period Dan Daoust beat Fuhr's replacement Andy Moog on a breakaway. Anderson started the Oilers rally and Kurri tied the game. At 14:23 of the period, Gretzky broke the tie and the Oilers were never headed.
Montreal 5, St. Louis 2--Serge Boisvert scored his first two goals of the season at St. Louis and the Canadiens halted the Blues' bid for their seventh straight home victory. It also ended the Blues' unbeaten string at nine games.
The Blues have not beaten the Canadiens at St. Louis since Oct. 21, 1980. They are winless in the last 14 games at home against Montreal.
Boisvert was playing in only his fifth game with the Canadiens. With the Canadiens holding a 3-2 lead, near the middle of the third period, Boisvert took a pass from Ron Flockhart to beat Mike Liut and give the Canadiens breathing room.
The Canadiens led from the time Guy Charbonneau scored a short-handed goal in the first period.
New York Islanders 8, Calgary 4--Coach Al Arbour put young Pat Flatley at right wing on a line with Brent Sutter and John Tonelli for this game at Uniondale, N.Y., and it paid dividends.
Flatley, just completing his first full season as a pro, had a goal and three assists and Sutter scored twice in the easy victory.
Tonelli had a goal and two assists. Mike Bossy, who usually plays on the Tonelli line, scored his 48th goal of the season.
Hartford 6, Winnipeg 2--Sylvain Turgeon scored his 21st goal and added an assist at Winnipeg to lead the Whalers to only their eighth win in 29 road games this season.
Turgeon's goal gave the Whalers a 3-1 lead in the middle of the second period and the Jets could never get closer than a goal.
Linesmen Wayne Bonney and Dan McCourt served as referees for the last 72 seconds after referee Bob Myers was struck in the forehead by a stick and had to get medical attention.
Vancouver 7, New Jersey 5--Tony Tanti scored twice and assisted on another goal at Vancouver. After Don Lever opened the scoring for the Devils, the Canucks scored four times before the first period ended.