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NHL Roundup : Oilers Barely Get an Assist From Gretzky and Lose Again

December 03, 1987|DAN HAFNER

The Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers are just another hockey team when Wayne Gretzky is in a slump.

The incomparable center had only an assist Wednesday night at Detroit, and his team was beaten again, 7-4, by the Red Wings.

Gretzky has only one point in two games.

The Oilers (14-10-2), who have lost 4 of their last 6 games, have only the fifth best record in the National Hockey League.

The Red Wings humiliated the Oilers with five goals in the first period, two by Gerard Gallant, to beat Edmonton for the second time this season. Last season, the Wings were 0-3 in the regular season against the Oilers and lost to them in five games in the playoffs.

The Red Wings' first four goals came on just five shots. After one period, the Oilers removed All-Star goalie Grant Fuhr. Rookie Daryl Reaugh took over and gave up two more goals.

The Red Wings (12-9-2) stopped all the Oilers except their new center, Craig Simpson. Simpson, obtained from Pittsburgh in the Paul Coffey deal, had a hat trick.

New York Islanders 7, Pittsburgh 1--Denis Potvin scored two goals at Pittsburgh, and the Islanders ended the Penguins' four-game unbeaten streak.

For the first time in four games, Coffey, the Penguins' newly-acquired defenseman, failed to get a point.

Goaltender Billy Smith thwarted Coffey and his teammates, stopping 29 shots. The victory was the 289th for Smith, who tied Ed Giacomin for 11th place on the all-time list.

Boston 5, Hartford 3--Center Ken Linseman had two goals and an assist, and defenseman Ray Bourque set up three goals at Hartford as the Bruins stopped the Whalers' two-game winning streak.

The Bruins, best road team in the league, checked the Whalers so closely that they had only 20 shots against goalie Doug Keans. It was the ninth road win for the Bruins.

The loss dropped the Whalers deeper into the Adams Division cellar.

Montreal 3, Vancouver 3--The Canucks just missed a sweep of Quebec province. After beating Quebec Tuesday night, the lowly Canucks built a 3-1 lead at Montreal.

But Stephane Richer and Chris Chelios each scored in the second period. Richer's score came after the Canucks were penalized for showing up late for the start of the second period.

St. Louis 5, Chicago 1--Bernie Federko had a goal and three assists to lead the Blues to victory over the Blackhawks at St. Louis. The Blackhawks are winless in their last 12 road games.

Federko has seven points in the last two games.

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