It was open season on goaltenders when the Kings beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers, 5-4, Friday night at the Northlands Coliseum.
Edmonton goalie Andy Moog was forced to leave the game with 13 minutes left in the second period when Kings left wing John Paul Kelly knocked him into the back of the net. Moog suffered jammed left and right knees.
Moog had just blocked a shot by King center Marcel Dionne, and Kelly was coming in for a rebound. But Edmonton defenseman Paul Coffey pushed Kelly into Moog. Moog slid into the net head first, and his knees got bent underneath Kelly.
“Kelly just put his head down and came charging in, and he and Paul Coffey fell on top of me,” Moog said. “I hurt both my knees, but I’m going to check it out tomorrow and see if I can skate.”
Oiler left wing Dave Semenko went after Kelly and was penalized five minutes for fighting. Kelly and Coffey each received two minute penalties for roughing.
Moog was replaced by Marco Baron, a former King. The Kings bought out Baron’s contract last summer when they released 21 players.
Baron was signed by the Nova Scotia Oilers, an Edmonton farm team, Jan. 31 and was called up by Edmonton Feb. 22 after goalie Grant Fuhr suffered a shoulder injury. The Oilers didn’t have any more goalies available if Baron had gotten hurt.
“I was going to school and looking for a job when they signed me,” Baron said. “I played six games in two weeks (for Nova Scotia), and then the Oilers called me up after Grant (Fuhr) got hurt.”
King goalie Bob Janecyk was shaken up with 6:20 left in the second period when he and Oilers center Kevin McClelland collided. McClelland took shot and was going to the net for a rebound when he was pushed into Janecyk by Kings right wing Dave Taylor.
Janecyk lay on the ice holding his neck, but he was able to continue.
“When he (McClelland) ran over me, my face went against the post, and I caught hit my back on he ice,” Janecyk said after the game while holding an ice bag to his neck. “I got a good stiff neck out of that.”
With 5:28 left in he second period, he went down again when a Wayne Gretzky slap shot hit him in the left collarbone.
The Oilers, down 3-1 when Moog left the game, got hot, outshooting the Kings, 18-6, during a 10-minute stretch of the second and third periods.
Playing shorthanded after Coffey and Semenko were penalized in the play in which Moog was hurt, the Oilers cut the Kings’ lead to 3-2 at the end of the second period when Dave Hunter scored off a pass from Gretzky.
However, center Bernie Nicholls took some of the pressure off the Kings when he scored his 40th goal of the season off a pass from Jim Fox just 2:18 into the third period to give the Kings a 4-2 lead.
“Fox saw me coming and gave me the puck,” Nicholls said. “I sort of turned (as if to pass to Fox), and the defense went right to him, and I shot.”
But the Oilers scored two consecutive goals to tie score at 4-4.
Right wing Jari Kurri closed the score to 4-3 when he scored his 60th goal of the season off a pass from Gretzky.
With 9:08 left, Mark Messier scored his second goal of the game to tie the score.
Left wing Phil Skyes, who was assigned to defense Gretzky, got the game-winning goal with 6:05 left in the third period off a pass from center Bob Miller.
Sykes did a good job on Gretzky, who had thee assists, but no goals.
It was the first time the Kings have won here since last season, when they ended Gretzky’s 51-game scoring streak.
The Kings played one of their worst games of the season against the Oilers Jan. 21. The Kings led, 7-2, in the second period but gave up six consecutive goals and lost, 8-7.
Kings Coach Pat Quinn said that his team should have mailed their jersey to Edmonton the last time they played here.
But he was much happier this time.
“I thought that we handled the third period a helluva lot better than we did the last time we were here,” he said. “It’s obvious that the Oilers were off their game, but that doesn’t take anything away from us.”
The Oilers were without Head Coach/General Manager Glen Sather, who left Thursday for Europe on a scouting trip.
Assistant coach John Mucker, who has been mentioned as a possible successor for Sather when he steps down, was behind the bench. Muckler had a 3-3 record while filling in for Sather this season.
The Oilers, in the midst of a mini-slump, changed their top two lines around to shake things up.
Mike Krushelnyski, who had been playing left wing on Gretzky’s line, moved to center on a line with wings Glenn Anderson and Willy Lindstrom. Messier moved from center and took Krushelnyski’s place on Gretzky’s line.
The Kings led, 2-0, at the end of the first period.
Defenseman Rick Lapointe scored his fourth goal of the season on a wrist shot with 14:15 left in the first period. Nicholls won a faceoff from Messier and passed to right wing Jim Fox. Fox gave the puck to Lapointe, who beat Moog.
The Kings scored on their second power play of the game after Gretzky received a two-minute penalty for tripping Sykes with 3:52 left in the first period.
The Kings scored off a two-on-one. Dionne took the puck away from Messier in the Kings’ zone and passed the puck over to Brian MacLellan, who scored his 26th goal of the season.
The Oilers scored a shorthanded goal 1:23 into the second period to cut the score to 2-1. Messier beat Janecyk on a rebound shot low to the glove side.
But the Kings scored a power-play goal just 14 seconds later when Fox took a pass from Doug Smith and beat Moog.