Mark Laforest was thinking positive, forgetting about the negatives.
Laforest, playing in place of injured Ron Hextall, gave up a couple of easy goals but stopped 26 shots Saturday and helped the Philadelphia Flyers score a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at Philadelphia.
“I didn’t feel too bad,” said Laforest, who has played in only 10 games this season and has a 2-5-2 record. “I thought I was doing all right.”
Hextall, 19-4-2 in his last 25 decisions, missed the game because of a bruised right shoulder suffered in Thursday night’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers. Laforest relieved Hextall in the third period of that game and did not allow a goal.
“I think that helped,” Laforest said. “I didn’t face that many shots but I was moving around.”
Scott Mellanby and Peter Zezel each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers and Rich Tocchet’s short-handed goal proved to be the game-winner as Philadelphia outshot the Jets, 43-29.
Mark Howe gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead at 15:21 of the second period with his 11th goal of the season.
Tocchet’s 16th goal of the season, while Pelle Eklund was off for holding, gave Philadelphia a 4-2 lead at 6:59 of the third period.
Dale Hawerchuk’s power-play score, his 30th goal of the season, brought Winnipeg close at 12:42 of the final period, beating Laforest through his legs with a soft shot, but he held the Jets in check the rest of the way.
The Jets tied the score, 2-2, on Iain Duncan’s 15th goal, at 10:21 of the period.
Edmonton 5, Hartford 2--Showing no signs of rust, Wayne Gretzky collected a goal and two assists as the Oilers beat the Whalers at Edmonton.
Gretzky has seven points in two nights after missing 13 games with a knee injury. Glenn Anderson gave Edmonton a 4-2 lead at 11:19 of the third period after an incredible pass from Gretzky, who sent a pass across the crease while sliding on his stomach.
Hartford is 1-12-2 at Edmonton since the teams joined the NHL from the World Hockey Assn. in 1979.
Montreal 6, New York Islanders 2--Mike McPhee had a goal and an assist as the Canadiens built a 3-0 lead after two periods and defeated the Islanders at Uniondale, N.Y.
The victory enabled the Canadiens to sweep the three-game season series with the Islanders and gave them a three-point lead over second-place Boston in the Adams Division.
The second-place Islanders remained five points behind Philadelphia and one ahed of Washington in the Patrick Division.
New York Rangers 4, Boston 2--Ulf Dahlen broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period and Tomas Sandstrom added an insurance goal on a breakaway with less than five minutes remaining as the Rangers got past the Bruins at Boston.
The Bruins outshot the Rangers 33-23, but were frustrated by goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, who had 31 saves as New York posted its third straight victory while winning in Boston for the first time in nearly two years.
The loss was only the fourth in the last 16 home games for the Bruins.
St. Louis 5, Quebec 2--Tony McKegney scored a goal and added two assists as the Blues extended their winning streak to five games by downing the Nordiques at St. Louis.
The Blues’ victory, their seventh in their last eight games, put them at the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 27.
The Stastny brothers, Anton and Peter, scored power-play goals for Quebec.
Toronto 5, Detroit 5--Wendel Clark scored his second goal of the game at 12:44 of the third period to give the Maple Leafs a tie against the Red Wings at Toronto.
Steve Chiasson and John Chabot each scored two goals for Detroit, which is 9-3-3 in its last 15 games.
The Leafs are 1-11-6 in their last 18 games.
Pittsburgh 4, Chicago 2--Dan Quinn scored a pair of power-play goals, and the Penguins ended a seven-game winless streak at home by stopping the Blackhawks.
The Penguins won their first home game since Dec. 26, ending a 0-4-3 slump at the Civic Arena and a three-game overall losing streak.
Calgary 4, Vancouver 3--Joe Mullen’s second goal of the game with 6:26 to play lifted the Flames to victory over the Canucks at Calgary. The Flames, once trailing, 3-1, got even at 3-3 on Brett Hull’s goal at 2:45 of the final period.
Tony Tanti scored all three goals for Vancouver.