Mike Hough and Curtis Leschyshyn scored short-handed goals as the Quebec Nordiques played spoilers with a 6-3 victory over the Hartford Whalers Thursday night at Quebec City, Canada.
The Nordiques were eliminated from the playoffs last weekend, but their victory prevented Hartford from moving into a tie with the idle Buffalo Sabres for third place--and a shot at home-ice advantage in the first round of playoffs--in the Adams Division.
Hough’s goal at 13:18 of the second period proved to be the game-winner, while Leschyshyn made it 5-3 at 4:51 of the third period.
Peter and Anton Stastny, Michel Goulet and Walt Poddubny also scored for Quebec. Kevin Dineen had two goals and Tom Martin the other for the Whalers.
Boston 5, New Jersey 3--Bob Sweeney’s second goal of the game broke a 3-3 tie midway through the second period and lifted the Bruins at Boston.
The Bruins, who beat the Devils in seven games to win the Wales Conference title last season, ended a two-game losing streak and need six more points to clinch second place in the Adams. The Devils, who have been eliminated from playoff contention, are 1-5 in their last six games.
N.Y. Islanders 3, Minnesota 1--Pat LaFontaine scored the tie-breaking goal for the Islanders in the second period at Uniondale, N.Y., as the North Stars failed to clinch a playoff spot for the second consecutive night.
The North Stars, who still need only one victory to gain a berth in the Norris Division, lost to the New York Rangers Wednesday night. Thursday’s defeat was the second straight for the North Stars after three consecutive victories.
Edmonton 5, Winnipeg 4--The Oilers scored three straight goals in the second period, including Craig MacTavish’s second of the night on a controversial shot, and hung on to win at Edmonton.
MacTavish’s goal, which put the Oilers up, 4-2, appeared not to cross the line behind goalie Bob Essensa. Replays showed the puck bouncing from one goal post to the other and then coming out again without crossing the line, but the goal judge put the red light on. Three minutes of argument from the Jet players failed to persuade referee Bob Myers to disallow the score.
Kevin Lowe picked up his second game misconduct of the season for injuring a player with his stick and will miss Edmonton’s weekend showdown with the Kings with an automatic suspension. That game may be the Oilers’ last chance to salvage second place in the Smythe Division and home advantage against the Kings in the playoffs.