Paul Coffey scored twice at Edmonton Wednesday night to set a record for most goals in a season by a defenseman while leading the Oilers to an 8-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Coffey has 47 goals. Bobby Orr scored 46 during the 1974-75 season. Orr sent the Oiler star a congratulatory telegram. Coffey has 137 points and needs three more in the last two games to break Orr’s record for points in a season by a defenseman.
The Oilers made sure the Canucks didn’t clinch a playoff spot at their expense.
But the Canucks backed into the final berth when the Kings blew a 4-2 lead in the last period and were tied by the Winnipeg Jets, 4-4, in overtime.
The Canucks needed the Kings to lose or tie to clinch a playoff berth. Now, the Canucks’ game with the Kings Saturday night is meaningless.
Wayne Gretzky had a goal and an assist and now has 211 points. He has two games in which to break his own season point mark of 212.
Jari Kurri added to his league-leading goals total with his 65th.
Coffey tied Orr’s record when he scored with just 23 seconds left in the first period. His record-breaking goal was in typical Coffey style. It was an end-to-end rush on which he split the Vancouver defensemen, Doug Halward and Rick Lanz, and went in alone to beat goalie Wendell Young.
The Canucks scored on two of their first five shots to take a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes.
Philadelphia 3, New York Rangers 2--Tim Kerr’s second goal of the game halfway through the third period at New York broke a 2-2 tie and put the Flyers on top in the tight Patrick Division race.
It also prevented the Rangers from clinching a playoff berth in the division. The Rangers, three points ahead of fifth-place Pittsburgh, needed a tie to clinch a playoff spot.
The Flyers, with two games remaining, lead the Washington Capitals, who have three games left, by two points. The division title is likely to be decided Sunday night when the Flyers and Capitals meet at Philadelphia.
New York Islanders 7, Pittsburgh 2--Mike Bossy and Tomas Jonsson each scored twice at Pittsburgh as the Islanders all but ended the Penguins’ hopes of making the playoffs.
The Penguins, who fired 42 shots at goaltender Kelly Hrudey, appeared to have a playoff berth sewed up a month ago. But they have lost four in a row and have a 2-11-1 record in the last 14 games.
Bossy now has 60 goals. It is the fifth time he has scored 60 or more goals. In every one of his nine NHL seasons he has scored more than 50.
Montreal 6, Detroit 3--Mats Naslund scored his 42nd goal in a three-goal second period at Montreal that enabled the Canadiens to move into second place in the Adams Division.
Naslund has set a club record for left wings with 106 points.
New Jersey 6, Quebec 5--Mark Johnson scored two of his three goals in a four-goal last-period rally at East Rutherford, N.J., that enabled the Devils to come from behind.
Johnson’s last goal broke a 5-5 tie with less than two minutes remaining.
Minnesota 7, Chicago 5--Linemates Dennis Maruk and Kent Nilsson each scored twice at Chicago as the North Stars kept alive their hopes of winning the Norris Division.
The Blackhawks, who beat the North Stars Tuesday night in Minnesota, lead by a point and have two games left with St. Louis. The Stars have only one game left, with Detroit.