Scenes from the Kings’ past:
Jimmy Carson setting up on the power play along with Luc Robitaille.
Robitaille playing on the same line with Carson and Dave Taylor.
Taylor splitting the defense and scoring a goal off a breakaway in the third period.
These three scenes were actual events on Saturday night during their 2-2 tie against the Chicago Blackhawks. The sellout crowd of 16,005 at the Forum couldn’t be blamed if it all seemed a little hard to believe.
“Luc told me in warm-ups, ‘Watch Dave, he looks like he’s 22,’ ” Carson said. “And he was right.”
Said Taylor: “It’s nice to get the odd goal. I had the opportunity to play with Jimmy his first couple of years here. It’s just one game, but I thought we played well. We had some good chances.”
Taylor’s goal could have been the game-winner, but the Blackhawks pushed the game into overtime with a late third-period goal by Jeremy Roenick, who scored on a wraparound that glanced off defenseman Darryl Sydor’s skate and went past King goaltender Kelly Hrudey with 5:27 remaining.
It took some of the luster off Hrudey’s fine performance as he stopped 34 of 36 shots. And it spoiled the return of Carson, who became a King again when the team on Friday made its first major deal of the Nick Beverley-Barry Melrose era.
Beverley, the team’s general manager, wanted to get Carson back in the organization. Melrose, the team’s coach, dearly wanted to acquire two of his former players, forward Gary Shuchuk and right wing Marc Potvin.
An accord was reached, but the Kings had to send defenseman Paul Coffey, right wing Jim Hiller and minor leaguer Sylvain Couturier to Detroit.
“There weren’t any negatives tonight,” Melrose said. “We played hard. We made our checks. We won all the fights. Hey, what a night.”
Wayne Gretzky perhaps was the most affected by the deal, from an emotional standpoint. Coffey is one of his best friends, and it was difficult for Gretzky to see him traded again.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Gretzky said. “When you’re not winning, changes have to be made. . . . I know the young guys are looking at me. I’ve got to be the first guy to welcome them and the first guy to take them out. I’ve got to lead by example. We still have to win the championship here.
“I’m the first guy to admit that Friday was a tough day for me. But I’ve got to have a smile, be genuine and show these guys how important it is to welcome the new players.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss him.”
All three of the newcomers played Saturday but didn’t record a point. Carson centered a line of Robitaille and Taylor. He said the most difficult aspect was getting used to more ice time, as he was averaging about 10 to 15 minutes a game in Detroit.
Shuchuk played on a line with his former college teammate, right wing Tony Granato. Potvin saw action on the fourth line with Warren Rychel and Pat Conacher.
Potvin, not surprisingly, got into a fight his very first shift as a King, taking on the Blackhawks’ Cam Russell at 2:22 of the first period.
The Kings had defeated the Blackhawks in all three of their previous meetings this season.
After a scoreless first period, Chicago took a 1-0 lead at 5:22 of the second on Michel Goulet’s 18th of the season. Goulet, with a backhander from the edge of the left crease, converted a rebound off Roenick’s original shot.
The Kings responded with a shorthanded goal by Marty McSorley at 13:17 to tie it at one after two.
Robitaille did the work on the play, pressuring Chicago defenseman Chris Chelios at the right point. Robitaille poked the puck ahead to Jari Kurri, who came down the left wing. Goaltender Ed Belfour came out to make the save, but the puck was free at the edge of the right circle and McSorley put it into an empty net for his 13th goal of the season.