Greg Stefan got the start in goal for Detroit, while Andy Moog was the starter for Edmonton.
Before the fans could even settle into their seats, the Red Wings Petr Klima stunned the Oilers with his 26th goal of the season just 34 seconds into the game.
Mark Messier tied the game at 1-1 just over two minutes later when he scored his 29th goal from Glenn Anderson at 2:37.
The game then settled down for a while until Anderson scored his 49th goal from Messier and defenseman Paul Coffey on a power play at 10:45 to give the Oilers the lead at 2-1 before Jari Kurri scored his 58th goal of the season at 13:42 from Wayne Gretzky and Coffey at even strength.
Detroit attempted to stay close when the rugged Joey Kocur got his 9th goal of the season on a power play from Klima and John Ogrodnick at 15:17 to give the Red Wings hope at 3-2.
Coffey then extended the Oilers lead to two goals again with his 42nd goal from Mark Napier and Lee Fogolin less than a minute later at 16:15. Anderson then reached the 50 goal mark for the second time in his career from Messier and Finn Risto Jalo at 17:50 to make it a demoralizing 5-2 for Edmonton after just the first period.
In the second period, Finland's Esa Tikkanen kept the Oilers rolling with his 4th from Coffey and Kevin McClelland followed by fellow Finn Raimo Summanen's 18th goal from Gretzky and Coffey again at 14:31 which brought a merciful end to Stefan's night in goal for Detroit.
Finally, Coffey struck again at 19:20 with his 43rd goal of the season from Gretzky and Kurri at even strength to give the Oilers a commanding 8-2 lead at the end of the second period of play from 28 shots to Detroit's 21.
The third period was scoreless until Anderson completed a hat trick with 51st goal from Coffey and Messier at 12:44, the Oilers sixth consecutive goal. Warren Young then interrupted the Oilers scoring barrage with is 22nd goal for Detroit at 16:46 from Steve Richmond and goaltender Eddie Mio, who had replaced Red Wings starter Stefan.
The Oilers McCelland restored the Oilers 7 goal lead just 40 second later from Marty McSorley and Charlie Huddy at 17:26 as Edmonton had now reached double digits on the night.
As was often the case in those days of the NHL, the Red Wings frustrations overflowed and a melee broke out at 18:07 when Kocur and McSorely fought for the second time in the period while Harold Snepsts and McCelland joined them with fighting majors and game misconducts of their own.
With all the sticks and gloves picked up, play resumed and Gretzky then scored his only goal of the game, his 49th of the year, from Anderson at 19:03.
Finally, with just 15 seconds to play, Kurri scored his second goal of the game and 59th of the season from Coffey and Gretzky to make the score 12-3. Coffey's assist was his 6th of the game, and when combined with his 2 first period goals, gave him 8 points for the game, tying Tom Bladon's 1977 record for Most Points in a Game by a Defenseman. His 6 assists in a game also tied the record by a defenseman that he shares with four others.
Coffey became just the ninth player in NHL history with 8 points or more in a game, an exclusive club that still only numbers 13 to date.
Having joined Edmonton in 1980-81, scoring a mere 9 goals and 32 points, Coffey played seven seasons with the Oilers, highlighted by his 1985-86 season, during which he scored and NHL record 48 goals and 90 assists for 138 points, including his record tying 8 point game on this date in 1986.
His 138 points were one short of Bobby Orr's 139 in 1970-71. Between the two of them, Coffey and Orr, hold every one of the top ten highest scoring seasons by a defenseman in NHL history, five for Orr and five for Coffey, and Coffey holds second place in career scoring among defensemen with 1,531, behind only Ray Bourque's 1,579.
During his seven seasons with the Oilers, Coffey won two Norris Trophies and three Stanley Cups.
Today's featured jersey is a 1985-86 Edmonton Oilers Paul Coffey jersey as worn during his record setting game during which he scored 8 total points.
The Oilers reworked their jerseys from their final season in the World Hockey Association where they originated when they joined the NHL in 1979-80. Gone was the low contrast blue lettering against an orange background on their logo in favor of a cleaner, more professional looking and higher contrast blue against a white background, a long overdue change. The same can be said for their road blue jerseys, as the orange lettering on a white background was dropped in favor or the same blue on white coloring of the logo used on the home white jerseys.
In today's video section, Coffey ties and then breaks Orr's single season goal scoring record by a defenseman, also during the 1985-86 season.