Kings Forced to Work Overtime to Beat Penguins, 4-3
After going two weeks without a win, the Kings finally found a team they could beat.
Left wing Dave (Tiger) Williams scored on a deflection of a shot by defenseman Brian Engblom with 1:50 left in a five-minute overtime period as the Kings broke a four-game winless streak with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night before 10,141 fans at the Forum.
“Brian passed it to me, and I kept my stick really flat and just lifted it into the net,” Williams said of his game-winning goal.
After Williams scored, he did a wild dance all the way up the ice, waving his stick in the air.
“You’re right, that was exciting,” Williams said. “We needed that win. I’ve never scored the winning goal in overtime in a regular-season game. It was a nice feeling. It felt great. We’ve been working for that win for a month.”
Asked about his victory dance, Williams said, “Back home, we don’t dance. We do the polka.”
Said Penguin goalie Roberto Romano: “I came over to cut down the angle. But Tiger Williams was just there to tip it in. You play a whole game to get a point and then you lose it in overtime. I don’t like overtime.”
It was only the second home win in 10 games for the Kings. The Kings, who have a 2-7-1 record at home, are 4-12-1 overall.
“Tonight was certainly a step forward,” King Coach Pat Quinn said. “It was a hard battle in overtime. But we had the grit to battle out of it, and that is certainly a positive sign.”
Ex-King captain Terry Ruskowski came back to hurt his old team, scoring the tying goal on a power play with 16 seconds left in the third period.
Ruskowski, who signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free-agent last summer, scored on a rebound of a shot by Moe Mantha when he tapped a loose puck into the net for the Penguins’ third power-play goal of the night.
But Ruskowski also made an error that led to Williams’ goal.
“I got caught out of position, and that’s why the goal was scored. It’s an awful feeling,” Ruskowski said. “I went over to the right wing area because I thought they needed help over there, but the puck went back to my area. If I had played my position, there’s no way they would have scored that goal.”
Said Pittsburgh Coach Bob Berry, a former King coach: “We played well in the third period. But it seemed like we we ran out of gas in the overtime.”
Trailing by one goal, the Penguins pulled goalie Romano for an extra skater in the last minute, and they also got a power play with 23 seconds left, giving them a two-man advantage.
Penguin right wing Mike Blaisdell charged King goalie Bob Janecyk from behind with 23 seconds left as Janecyk was trying to clear a puck behind the net. Defenseman Garry Galley retaliated against Blaisdell. Galley and Blaisdell were both penalized five minutes for fighting, but Galley got an extra two-minute roughing minor tacked on, giving Pittsburgh a power play.
Janecyk said he thought Blaisdell should have been penalized for charging. Janecyk has been suspended for five games by Brian O’Neill, National Hockey League executive vice president, as a result of a stick-swinging incident with center Peter Zezel of the Philadelphia Flyers on a similar play in a game Nov. 3. Janecyk’s suspension takes effect next week.
“I had my back turned to him (Blaisdell),” Janecyk said. “Brian O’Neill said the referees are trying to protect the goalies. If that’s what they call protection, then there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Pittsburgh, which had a two-game winning streak snapped, is 5-9-3 overall.
Trailing, 2-1, in the second period, the Kings scored two goals to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. It was only the third time in 17 games this season that the Kings have led after two periods.
With the score tied, 2-2, in the second period, the Kings had two apparent power-play goals disallowed by referee Mike Noeth in 12 seconds.
First, Noeth disallowed Doug Smith’s rebound shot with 13:19 left in the second period, saying that Romano already had control of the puck before the whistle blew. However, it appeared from TV replays that the puck was lying beside Romano’s skate when Smith tapped it in.
“He (Noeth) made a mistake,” Smith said. “I’m sure he realized it. No one is perfect.”
Dave Taylor also had a goal taken away with 13:07 left in the second period when he backhanded a rebound shot into the net.
“It seems like the referees are on vacation when they come out to L.A,” Quinn said. “It was poor positioning on the part of the referee.”
But the Kings got a goal that counted with 7:49 left in the second period.
With the score tied, 2-2, center Bernie Nicholls scored the go-ahead goal on a power play off a pass from Taylor. Nicholls also assisted on the tying goal by Taylor earlier in that period, and he got an assist on Williams’ goal.
Center Brian Wilks also scored for the Kings.
Center Mario Lemieux, the 1984-85 Rookie of the Year, scored a power-play goal for the Penguins. Doug Shedden had the Penguins’ other goal.
Quinn changed his lines to work newly acquired left wing Morris Lukowich into the lineup. Lukowich played on a line with center Marcel Dionne and right wing Paul Guay.
Lukowich almost scored a goal when he hit the right post with 8:30 left in the game.
Nicholls centered for Taylor and left wing Williams. It was the Kings’ most productive line, accounting for three goals.
Wilks played center on a line with Phil Sykes at left wing and Anders Hakansson at right wing.
King Notes King rookie defenseman Al Tuer will be out five days with a lower-back strain, it was announced before the game. He is the third member of the team out with a back injury. Center Glen Currie has been sidelined since the start of the season after suffering a herniated disk during training camp, and right wing Jim Fox has missed the last six games with a disk injury . . . The Kings close out the homestand with a game Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils at the Forum . . . King assistant coach Mike Murphy, who normally sits in the press box, watched from the bench . . . Jockey Sandy Hawley was pressed into service as a minor official, working in the visitors’ penalty box.