There was little Kelly Hrudey could do.
The pass from Esa Tikkanen arrived at the right post at the same instant as Petr Klima, allowing Klima to smash the puck past the Kings’ goalie and win Game 2 of the Smythe Division finals, 4-3, 4:48 into the second overtime Saturday night before a Forum crowd of 16,005.
That ties the best-of-seven series at 1-1 with Game 3 to be played in Edmonton Monday night.
Craig MacTavish stole the puck from Marty McSorley to set up the final goal.
Klima’s shot ended a goaltending duel between Hrudey and Grant Fuhr. The Kings outshot the Oilers, 49-38.
It was a costly night for the Kings in more ways than one. They lost wing Tomas Sandstrom in the first period because of a sprained knee.
And early in the overtime, Bob Kudelski had to leave the ice after spraining a ligament in his right knee.
Sandstrom was hurt in the first period when he was hit in the right knee by Craig Muni. Sandstrom was taken immediately to a nearby hospital, where it was determined he had suffered a sprained knee.
King Coach Tom Webster spent as much time juggling as coaching Saturday night.
With center Steve Kasper out because of a concussion, Webster put center John McIntyre with Mike Donnelly and Brad Jones and moved Kudelski, normally a right wing, to center, teaming him with Jay Miller and John Tonelli.
But when Sandstrom went down, Webster moved Kudelski to the first line and double-shifted Wayne Gretzky, putting him on both the first and fourth lines.
While the Kings’ injury list was growing, the Oilers’ was shrinking.
Having missed the series opener with tendinitis of the ankle, Edmonton defenseman Kevin Lowe returned only to start off shaky, making a blind pass in his own zone onto the stick of Luc Robitaille.
Robitaille’s shot was blocked by Fuhr, but Todd Elik was in position to shove the rebound under Fuhr’s right arm 13 seconds into the game. It was Elik’s first playoff goal.
Lowe got even for his mistake before the period was over, scoring his first playoff goal from the top of the left circle, the puck squeezing through Hrudey’s pads at 8:29.
The Oilers went ahead, 2-1, at 17:54. Anatoli Semenov skated through the slot, the puck on his stick, drawing Hrudey with him. But when the King goalie followed Semenov out of the crease, the Oiler wing passed back to Martin Gelinas, who fired his second postseason goal into the vacated net.
But with only 20 seconds left in the period, Kudelski evened the score, getting his third playoff goal from the left circle when he puck sailed over Fuhr’s left shoulder.
Semenov left Steve Duchesne frozen, skating around him to backhand the puck past Hrudey at the 11:18 mark of the second period. Semenov’s second goal of the playoffs gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead .
Robitaille tied it again with his team-leading seventh postseason goal, scoring from the left circle 6:32 into the final period.
As the clock ticked down to the end of regulation, neither club could get any help from its power-play units. The teams were a combined 0-for-10 on power plays, each shut out on five attempts.
In the final minute, Tony Granato, the puck in front of him, was tripped by Mark Messier, but no call was made.
Then, in the closing seconds, Larry Robinson took a shot that Fuhr batted into the air.
For an instant, the outcome of the game hung in the balance, but the puck came down on the crossbar and bounced away, sending the game into overtime.
Entering play Saturday, the Kings had lost only once to a Smythe Division club at home since Dec. 14, going 11-1-1 over that span. The loss came in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Vancouver Canucks.
* GETTING EVEN: The St. Louis Blues ended a power-play drought in the playoffs with a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota North Stars that tied their Norris Division series at one game apiece. C16