When the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1984 and 1985, wing Jari Kurri scored more goals than any other player in the playoffs. But last spring, he scored only two goals in 10 games, and the Oilers were eliminated in the second round.
Kurri is back to scoring goals in bunches, and the Oilers appear to be on their way to another championship.
The flying Finn scored two goals Saturday night at Winnipeg to lead the Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Jets and a 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Smythe Division championship series.
Kurri has nine goals in eight playoff games and has loomed large in the Oilers' seven consecutive victories after losing the opener to the Kings.
A victory Monday night at Winnipeg would get the Oilers halfway to the Stanley Cup.
Wayne Gretzky set up both Kurri goals as well as the first score of the game by his other linemate, Esa Tikkanen.
Doug Smail scored a short-handed goal for the Jets early in the second period to tie it. With time running out in the second period, Kurri stole the puck at the blue line, passed it to Gretzky, and when Kurri broke for the net, Gretzky fed him the puck for the go-ahead score.
Kurri put the game out of reach with his second goal at 6:22 of the final period.
The Oilers have maintained they can play any kind of game. Against the Kings, it was wide open and high scoring. But these three games have had tough defensive play, and so far, the Oilers have prevailed again.
Goaltender Grant Fuhr was spectacular in the nets for the Oilers, stopping 35 shots. Several saves were on shots from close range.
Detroit 4, Toronto 2--As it has in several series, home ice has been no advantage in the battle between the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs.
After losing the first two games at home, the Red Wings stormed back to win in the first one at Toronto. Shawn Burr and Gerard Gallant each scored two goals as the Red Wings cut the Toronto series lead to 2-1.
Toronto goalie Ken Wregget, brilliant in the first two games, let in two bad goals and was replaced by Alan Bester in the first minute of the second period.
Gallant's second goal near the middle of the third period was the only score against Bester.