Sunday, April 9, 2017

The NHL Record for Most Goals in a Playoff Game - 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Jersey

On this date in 1987, the Los Angeles Kings took on the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of their first round playoff series.

The night before, the Kings had won Game 1, also in Edmonton's Northland Coliseum, by a convincing 5-2 score with Dave Taylor scoring a goal and an assist while Luc Robitaille had a pair of assists to lead Los Angeles.

The Kings started Roland Melanson again while the Oilers changed from Game 1 starter Grant Fuhr to Andy Moog.

Moog Oilers
Andy Moog got the start in goal for the Oilers

With Steve Duchesne sent off for hooking at 1:38, the Oilers capitalized when Jari Kurri converted a cross-ice pass from Wayne Gretzky with the second assist to Randy Gregg at 2:51 to give Edmonton the early lead. Gretzky's assist made him the NHL's all-time playoff scoring leader with 177 points, breaking the record held by Jean Beliveau.

Beliveau Gretzky 1974
Beliveau met Gretzky at a PeeWee tournament in 1974, 13 years
before Gretzky would break Beliveau's career playoff scoring record

Glenn Anderson then scored an absurd goal. Moving off the left side boards, he skated toward the slot. Once around a Kings defenseman, Melanson made a huge gamble and came way out of the net, all the way to the right faceoff circle before finally making a desperate lunge to poke check the puck away from Anderson, who patiently waited out Melanson until he had a clear angle at the vacated goal and flung a backhander into the unguarded net at 5:17 for an unassisted goal and a 2-0 Oilers lead.

Anderson Oilers
Glenn Anderson against the Kings

The third Oilers goal was vintage Gretzky to Kurri, as Gretzky set up shop behind the Los Angeles net and passed out front to Kurri, who breaking in on the right side and fired one past Melanson for a 3-0 Edmonton lead after 6:26.

Kurri Oilers 1
Jari Kurri

After Bernie Nicholls got the Kings on the board with an unassisted goal at 10:29, Randy Gregg golfed a shot from the point just 20 seconds later that eluded Melanson into the upper left corner for a frankly bad goal. Craig MacTavish and Kevin McClelland were credited with the assists.

Things went from bad to worse for Los Angeles when Tom Laidlaw was penalized and the Oilers scored the ugliest of goals when Gretzky shot the puck from the right side boards and Esa Tikkanen got his stick on the rebound. Tikkanen's shot bounced up off of Melanson just as Jay Wells checked Tikkanen from behind. As Tikkanen fell forward into Melanson, the puck his the Finn in the chest and bounced into the net, along with Tikkanen! Another Finn, Reijo Ruotsalainen was given the second assist on the power play goal at 14:09.

Tikkanen Oilers
Esa Tikkanen

It was Amateur Hour again at 17:03 when Gregg dumped the puck into the Kings zone and Melanson came out to try to clear the puck. His attempt was blocked by Kent Nilsson, who passed the puck out of the corner to Anderson who then sent the puck across the slot to a wide open Mark Messier for an easy tap in without a Kings defender within 15 feet of him to make the score 6-0 after one period.

Darren Eliot replaced Melanson in goal for Los Angeles to start the second period. With Marty McSorley having been penalized for the Oilers at 2:52, MacTavish poked the puck past the Kings defenseman at the point, starting a breakout the other way. Messier joined him, and as MacTavish approached the Kings net, he simply fed the puck across to Messier for a virtual repeat of his first goal as he simply shot the puck into the open side of the net as he was left unguarded for a 7-1 Edmonton lead.

Messier Oilers 1
Mark Messier

Nicholls scored again for Los Angeles at 4:29 on the same power play, but less than two minutes later Nilsson poked the puck away from Bobby Carpenter near the Kings blueline, passed it left to Messier, who gave it back to Nilsson. He cut to his left in the slot and fired the puck by Eliot at 6:15 to restore the Oilers six goal advantage.

Just as Grant Ledyard's penalty was about to expire, Nilsson got the puck near his own goal and fed the puck up to Messier who was leaving the Oilers zone. He carried it into the Kings zone and fed it forward to Gretzky, who then dropped it back to Nilsson all alone trailing the play as the Kings were again all watching the puck. Nilsson completed the slick passing play by scoring his second goal of the period with one second left on the Edmonton man advantage to make the score 9-2.

The Kings scored their second goal of the period with 1:32 remaining with the goal going to Jim Fox from Wells and Carpenter.

The third period was no better for the beleaguered Kings, as Gregg tapped a puck at the point up to Kurri, who in turn sent it toward the net were Gretzky tipped it past Eliot for the 10th Oilers goal at 1:56.

Gretzky Oilers 3
The Oilers hit double digits on Gretzky's tip in

With Ledyard off again for the Kings, Gretzky and Kurri combined for a mirror image of Edmonton's third goal, with Gretzky set up behind the Kings net, he move to the right, drawing absolutely everyone with him and set the puck through the crease to Kurri waiting all alone on the far left, where he buried the puck into the open side before Eliot had any chance to react to complete a hat trick. Anderson was awarded the second assist on the goal at 7:30 on the power play.

Kurri Oilers 2
Kurri completed his hat trick at 7:30 of the third

20 seconds later, a missed attempt at a breakout pass by the Kings teed up a one-timer for defenseman Charlie Huddy, who put everything he had into a blast on goal. While Eliot made the save, the big rebound went to Moe Lemay, who fought off a defender to direct the puck into the open goal behind Eliot, who had come out to cut down the angle on the shot by Huddy.

The Oilers 12th goal set a dubious new record for Most Goals Allowed in a Playoff Game beating the record of 11 held by both the Oilers and the 1944 Montreal Canadiens.

Wells for Los Angeles was then called for a penalty at 17:29, putting Edmonton back on the power play for the seventh time. After a faceoff win back to the left point, the Oilers deftly passed it back over to the right point, where it was sent up to Tikkanen halfway up the right boards. He then sent the puck down to Gretzky below the red line as they executed a give-and-go. Once Gretzky got the puck, he sent it back to Tikkanen, who had broken for the right side of the net. With all the attention focused on the puck, Tikkanen sent the pick across the slot to the left where once again, the wide open and alone Kurri buried his fourth goal of game and third on the power play to make the final score 13-3 for Edmonton.

It was the fifth power play goal for the Oilers in seven tries and set a record for Most Goals Scored in a Playoff Game at 13. Gretzky had 7 points on the night, including tying the record for Most Assists in a Playoff Game with 6. His 7 points tied his own record, which he had accomplished twice before. After his seven point night, Gretzky pushed the record for the Most Career Playoff Points to 177.

Kurri finished with 4 goals and 5 points while Messier had a pair of goals and a pair of assists for 4 points. Nilsson had 2 goals and an assist while Gregg and Anderson each had a goal and two assists for three points each. MacTavish and Tikkanen each had two points while four other Oilers had a point, making for a dozen players on the scoresheet in all.

Gretzky Kurri Oilers
Gretzky and Kurri combined for an absurd 5 goals and 12 points

Melanson gave up 6 goals on 10 first period shots while Eliot let in 7 on 29 shots. In all the Oilers put 45 shots on goal, scoring 13 times. Moog got the win for Edmonton, making 11 saves on 14 shots against.

The shellshocked Kings would not recover from the beating they took in Edmonton, losing the next two in Los Angeles 6-5 and 6-3 before they were eliminated in Game 5 back in Edmonton 5-4.

The Oilers would then sweep the Winnipeg Jets in four straight before advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals with a 4-1 series win over the Detroit Red Wings.

In the Finals, the Oilers won the first two at home 4-2 and 3-2 in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers, who won Game 3 back at home 5-3. Edmonton put Philadelphia on the brink with a 4-1 win in Game 4, but the Flyers delayed the celebrations with a 4-3 Game 5 win in Edmonton and forced a Game 7 with a 3-2 win at home. The Oilers then captured the Stanley Cup with a 3-1 win in front of their home fans to win their third championship in four years.

Gretzky Oilers Cup
The Oilers would go on to win the 1987 Stanley Cup

Today's featured jersey is a 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky jersey as worn when the Oilers set the NHL record for Most Goals in a Playoff Game with 13 while Gretzky set the career playoff scoring record as his seven points that night vaulted him past Beliveau.

The Oilers swapped the colors of their logo from a hard to read blue on orange worn while in the WHA to blue on white for their entry into the NHL in 1979-80. This style was worn through the 1995-96 season when the team changed their colors.

The team reverted to their original look for the 2011-12 season and hope it will eventually see the same amount of success as the first time around.

Edmonton Oilers 1986-87 jersey
Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions

In today's video section, highlights of every one of the 16 goals scored during the Oilers record setting 13-3 win on this date in 1987.

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