It might be too early to dismiss the Edmonton Oilers’ chances of repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
In the absence of such stalwarts as high-scoring Jari Kurri and outstanding goaltender Grant Fuhr, the Oilers were slow out of the gate. When Mark Messier, their leader, suffered a knee injury in the fifth game, the problems multiplied.
They lost nine in a row and when Messier came back they were 2-11-2.
Now the Oilers and are showing signs of becoming a contender.
Messier scored the decisive goal midway through the third period Sunday at Philadelphia and the Oilers stopped the Flyers, 6-3.
Messier’s power-play goal broke a 3-3 tie and the Oilers ended the Flyers’ unbeaten streak at six games (5-0-1).
The Oilers are 7-3 since Messier rejoined the club and are on the verge of escaping the cellar in the Smythe Division.
Quebec 5, Calgary 5--The resurgence of the Nordiques is for real. They scored twice in the last eight minutes at Quebec to earn a tie and extend their unbeaten streak to four games.
Vancouver 5, Winnipeg 1--Greg Adams and Trevor Linden each scored twice at Winnipeg to lead the Canucks past the Jets.
Detroit 3, Buffalo 3--The Sabres pulled their goaltender in a desperate effort for a tie at Buffalo and Dale Andreychuk came through with 21 seconds to play.
Chicago 3, St. Louis 2--Brett Hull scored his 26th goal on a 75-foot shot at Chicago, but he couldn’t prevent the Blues from extending their winless streak to six games (0-4-2).