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Canadien Rookie Sets NHL Playoff Record With Overtime Goal, 3-2

May 19, 1986|CHRIS BAKER | Times Staff Writer

CALGARY, Canada — Rookie center Brian Skrudland of the Montreal Canadiens isn't a threat to replace superstar center Wayne Gretzky as the top scorer in the National Hockey League.

Skrudland, until Sunday night, hadn't scored a goal in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But his name is now in the NHL record book after he scored the game-winning goal just nine seconds in the extra period to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final before a sellout crowd of 16,762 fans at the Olympic Saddledome.

"I wouldn't have predicted this in 1,000 years, especially with me scoring the winning goal," Skrudland said.

The Canadiens, who lost Game 1 on Friday night, 5-2, are now tied with the Flames at 1-1.

The series moves to Montreal, where Games 3 and 4 are scheduled to be played on Tuesday and Thursday.

Skrudland beat the record for the fastest goal ever in a playoff game by two seconds.

The old mark of 11 seconds was set by Jean-Paul Parise of the New York Islanders in a preliminary round game against the New York Rangers on April 11, 1975.

The Canadiens tied the game, 2-2, when left wing Dave Maley scored at 3:30 of the third period.

"I was pleased that it was over soon," Montreal Coach Jean Perron said. "Coaches don't like to go into overtime because you can get a fluke goal."

In the sudden-death period, Montreal center Claude Lemieux won the opening faceoff and passed the puck to left wing Mike McPhee.

McPhee skated into the Calgary zone with Skrudland and faked a shot, which froze Calgary defenseman Al MacInnis. McPhee slid the puck over to Skrudland and he deflected the puck past Calgary goaltender Mike Vernon for the game-winner.

"It was a fantastic pass," Skrudland said. "He (McPhee) laid it right on my stick. I give him all the credit in the world. I didn't have to do a darn thing. All I had to do was shoot.

"I didn't expect McPhee to pass the puck. It hit my stick and was in the goal. Then I saw him down on the ice and went to tackle him. Mike made the play."

Vernon said he was faked out by McPhee.

"It was a two-on-one and basically I was taking the shooter (McPhee). But McPhee wound up and froze me. I tried to get over, but it all just happened too fast."

Ironically, Vernon had played a brilliant game just to keep the Flames from getting blown out.

Montreal outshot Calgary, 35-22, with Vernon making 32 saves.

"I was extremely disappointed because we wasted a good game by Vernon," Calgary Coach Bob Johnson said. "Those are the kind of games that goalies win for you. Mikey did an excellent job. He played very well. But we made couple of mental mistakes on their last two goals."

Skrudland had several good chances in the third period, but he couldn't take advantage of them.

"It was like I was playing with a rubber stick," Skrudland said. "This goal made up for that."

The Canadiens wasted several opportunities to win the game in the third period, when right wing Chris Nilan hit the goalpost on two shots in the closing minutes.

"No, I didn't think it was bad luck when he hit the post twice," Perron said. "We were playing well."

Said Nilan: "When I hit the goalpost the first time I was just trying to put a shot on the net. The second time I was trying to put it in. That's just the way it goes. I wish they went in but we won the game."

The Canadiens had to fight back from a 2-0 deficit early in the second period.

In the first period, Patrick Roy, Montreal's rookie goaltender, didn't look sharp.

Left wing John Tonelli gave the Flames a 1-0 lead with 10:54 left when he took a pass from Joey Mullen on the left side, went around Montreal defenseman Gaston Gingras and beat Roy to his glove side on a shot from the left circle.

Gingras tried to pull down Tonelli, grabbing his jersey, but Tonelli managed to get the shot off.

Defenseman Paul Reinhart scored a power-play goal just 15 seconds into the second period to make it 2-0.

Right wing Lanny McDonald set up the goal when he fed Reinhart with a pass just inside the blue line. McDonald skated between Montreal defensemen Rick Green and Mike Lalor and fired a shot over Roy.

But the Canadiens fought back.

Gingras scored Montreal's first goal with a good play. He went around Calgary defenseman Neil Sheehy and scored an unassisted goal, his first of the playoffs.

Goalie Vernon was taken out of the play when Nilan got tangled up Calgary right wing Doug Risebrough in front of the net.

"Nilan interfered with me," Vernon said. "I argued with (referee) Andy van Hellemond about it but he said our guy (Risebrough) pushed him (Nilan) into me."

Montreal center Guy Carbonneau set up Maley's tying goal when he played the puck off the boards and fed Maley in the slot. It was the first goal of Maley's NHL career.

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