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NHL Roundup : Rangers' Goalie Froese Credited With Scoring a Goal in 3-1 Victory

November 30, 1987|DAN HAFNER

Bob Froese of the New York Rangers became the second goaltender in National Hockey League history to be credited with a goal and it helped the Rangers beat the New York Islanders, 3-1, Sunday night at New York.

The Rangers, in winning for only the eighth time in 24 games, held a 2-1 lead near the middle of the second period when the freak goal was scored.

The Rangers' Marcel Dionne had just been hit with a delayed penalty and the Islanders' Billy Smith, who was credited with the first score by a goalie in 1979, was heading for the bench to let another attacker on the ice. The Islanders' Denis Potvin banged a shot off the post. Teammate Brent Sutter tried to pass the rebound out to the point, but it went all the way down the ice into the net.

It was a legal goal because the Islanders had not lost control of the puck. According to the rules, the Ranger closest to Sutter when he put the puck into the wrong net, gets credit for the goal. In this case it was Froese.

Smith scored in a similar fashion against the Colorado Rockies Nov. 28, 1979. Although no goalie has actually scored a goal in the NHL, two can take credit for one.

Maybe, Froese didn't earn the goal, but he definitely earned the victory. He had missed nine games because of a shoulder separation, but Froese was spectacular. He stopped 29 shots, many of them difficult ones.

"I'm more interested in winning the game, than getting a goal," Froese said. "Maybe when I retire, I'll sit back and think it's something special.

"But really, it's just a fluke."

Edmonton 5, Buffalo 2--Mark Messier scored two goals and assisted on another at Buffalo to lead the Oilers back into first place in the Smythe Division.

Wayne Gretzky assisted on two Oiler goals and needs only 31 more to pass Gordie Howe and become the all-time assist leader.

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