When the Buffalo Sabres won only one of their first 10 games, the general belief was that Scotty Bowman would be the National Hockey League's first coach or general manager to be fired this season.
In a strange twist, it was Bowman's Sabres (3-7-2) who led to Boston's firing of Butch Goring as coach Wednesday night.
Goring, the former King center, was dismissed moments after the Sabres trounced the Bruins, 8-3, at Buffalo.
Goring's fate may have been sealed Sunday night at Boston when the Sabres humiliated the Bruins, 7-1. Bruin General Manager Harry Sinden called the game a disaster.
It is known that Sinden and Goring had disagreed on Goring's use of goaltenders. Asked earlier this week which goalie he would start against the Sabres, Goring replied: "The goaltending situation is out of my hands."
Rookie Bill Ranford started in goal for the Bruins Wednesday night. After giving up 5 goals on 20 shots in the first period, he was replaced by veteran Doug Keans.
As a rookie coach last season, Goring directed the Bruins to a 37-31-12 record, a slight improvement over the previous season. When he was fired, the Bruins were 5-7-1.
"Goring has been dismissed, and we have no further comment as to who will be his replacement, " a Bruin spokesman said.
Goring left without comment.
Detroit 5, New York Rangers 4--The Rangers' amazing bad luck in overtimes continued at Detroit.
Halfway through the five-minute overtime, Doug Shedden of the Red Wings tried to bat a rebound out of mid-air past goaltender Doug Soetaert, who then inadvertently knocked the puck into the net.
The luckless Rangers argued that Shedden was in the crease and the goal should not have counted. A television replay indicated they were right, but replays aren't used by officials during NHL games.
In their last 29 overtime games, the Rangers are 1-14-14. Already this season, 9 of the Rangers' 12 games have gone into overtime. Their record in those games is 1-4-4.
Walt Poddubny scored with 15 seconds left in regulation to get the Rangers into another overtime.
Calgary 3, Edmonton 1--Goalie Mike Vernon turned in an outstanding performance at Edmonton, stopping 38 Oiler shots. The only one that got past him was Wayne Gretzky's 12th goal of the season, in the second period.
On two other occasions, Vernon made saves when Gretzky came in on breakaways.
The Flames, who knocked the Oilers out of the playoffs last season, are 2-0 against Edmonton this season.
Toronto 6, St. Louis 4--Tom Fergus scored three goals at Toronto and, with just 4:07 left in regulation, set up Steve Thomas for the game-winner.
The surprising Maple Leafs (7-2-3) held on to their four-point lead in the Norris Division.
Hartford 3, New York Islanders 2--Goals two minutes apart in the second period by Joel Quenneville and Doug Jarvis enabled the Whalers to beat the Islanders at Hartford, Conn., for the first time since March 1984.
The Islanders' record fell to 6-5-1. All the defeats have been by one goal.
Washington 3, Vancouver 2--Craig Laughlin scored on a rebound late in the second period at Landover, Md., and it turned out to be the goal that ended the Capitals' three-game losing streak.
The Canucks are winless in their last six games and are 0-5 on the road.
Chicago 4, Minnesota 2--Defenseman Marc Bergevin had a goal and an assist in a four-goal third-period outburst that carried the Blackhawks to victory at Chicago.