It was a great night for synchronized sweater-pulling, volleyball cheering and Gretzky-watching at the Forum Saturday night.
In the end, the last gold medal of the night went to King defenseman Ken Hammond, who pounced on the rebound of a Bobby Carpenter shot to score at 1:41 of overtime, giving the Kings a 5-4 exhibition victory over the Calgary Flames before a crowd of 10,627.
Gretzky had a hand in Hammond’s goal, which was only fitting, since he had a part in all but one of the Kings’ goals, scoring twice on power plays and setting up Hammond’s power-play goal at 12:23 of the third period, which tied the score, 4-4.
On the game-winner, Gretzky skated along the boards just to the left of the net and flipped a pass to Carpenter, who was stopped at point-blank range by Calgary goalie Doug Dadswell.
The rebound came out to Hammond, who beat Dadswell to give the Kings a 2-4-2 record in exhibition games.
Gretzky’s goals gave him 4 in the exhibition season, all on power plays, and were his first 2 scored in Los Angeles since joining the Kings. His prettiest of the night came on a slick back-and-forth exchange of passes with right wing Dave Taylor, who appears primed to start the regular season on Gretzky’s line with Carpenter.
“Hopefully, we’ll have more games like this during the season,” said Taylor, who had 3 assists, while opposite wing Carpenter had 1 goal and 3 assists. “Having Gretzky will propel us to the top of the league on the power play.
“When you get guys like Gretzky and (John) Tonelli . . . players realize they’re playing with some of the best players in the world, and it makes them play harder.”
The Kings weren’t playing the best Flames in the world Saturday night--only about 8 or 9 Calgary regulars dressed for the game.
Glenn Healy, trying to dissuade General Manager Rogie Vachon that the Kings need another goalie, went the distance and was so-so, giving up 4 goals on 32 shots.
While Gretzky was in on almost all the scoring, he wasn’t on the ice for the brawl that caused referee Robbie Shick to send both teams to the dressing room with 54 seconds remaining in the second period.
Star of that skirmish was Gretzky’s teammate with the Oilers, the Kings’ Marty McSorley, who distinguished himself by drawing a double game misconduct, stripping Calgary defenseman Rick Hayward of his sweater, and breaking away a linesman to take a few well-aimed punches at Calgary’s Theoren Fleury, who stands 5 feet 7 inches to McSorley’s 6-2, 230 pounds.
The fight resulted in 159 minutes of penalties, 11 game misconducts, 9 major penalties and 2 minors.
Until Hammond’s game-winning goal, the biggest cheer of the night greeted the announcement that the U.S. volleyball team had beaten the Soviets for the gold medal at Seoul.
Defenseman Doug Crossman, acquired Thursday from Philadelphia for Jay Wells, has arrived in Los Angeles but did not dress for Saturday’s game. . . . Right wing Jim Fox, who has missed all of training camp while recovering from arthroscopic surgery on both knees, said he has been given a target date of Oct. 15 for returning. . . . Defenseman Tom Laidlaw is still out with a bruised thigh suffered Sept. 21 in Portland. . . . Luc Robitaille and Mike Krushelnyski were among the Kings who didn’t dress for the game.