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NHL Roundup : Something New at Quebec--a Win

December 06, 1987|DAN HAFNER

As often happens when teams make changes, the Quebec Nordiques gave new head Coach Ron Lapointe a victory in his debut Saturday night at Quebec.

The Nordiques fired Coach Andre Savard after just 23 games, the last four of which were defeats. They had won only once in the previous nine games.

But Anton Stastny had a goal and an assist to lead the Nordiques to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils, who have the best home record in the National Hockey League (11-1-1) fell to 3-8-2 on the road.

"My goal was to put more fun back in the game for the players," Lapointe said. "If this game is an indication, it has already happened.

"I didn't care for the way we handled the last 10 minutes, however. For 50 minutes we had the game under control. Then, we let up. We showed character by hanging on."

The players talked about the change and its immediate effect.

"The work ethic around here has changed," Brown said. "Even the guys on the bench who weren't playing were cheering more. Everyone was into the game."

Stastny broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal at 4:39 of the second period. He fired a shot from the faceoff circle that went through goaltender Bob Sauve. Jeff Brown, on another power play, made it 3-1 early in the last period.

Edmonton 5, Toronto 2--When the Oilers are in a slump, they look for Wayne Gretzky to bring them out of it. He didn't let them down in this game at Edmonton.

Gretzky, who had only an assist in two consecutive Oiler defeats, scored twice to lead the Oilers.

It was the fourth loss in a row for the Maple Leafs. The Leafs who had not lost a game this season in which they led after two periods, took a 2-1 lead into the last period.

Gretzky tied the game in the first minute after the faceoff. Five minutes later Mark Messier broke the tie and Gretzky followed with his 20th goal a few minutes later.

Calgary 4, Minnesota 4--Although the Flames extended their unbeaten string to eight games in this game at Calgary, they were deprived of victory with 95 seconds left in regulation.

Scott Bjugstad fired a 10-foot shot between the pads of goaltender Mike Vernon to get the North Stars even and force an overtime.

Boston 7, Chicago 3--The Blackhawks' defense improved by five goals and their offense by three, so instead of losing by 12 goals, they lost their sixth in a row by only four at Boston.

Keith Crowder had his second career hat trick as the Bruins handed the slumping Blackhawks their 11th consecutive defeat on the road.

The Blackhawks lost all six games on this trip and, since winning their first two road games, are 0-13-1 away from home.

The Bruins outshot the Blackhawks, 49-19, but their weak power play netted only two goals in nine tries.

Pittsburgh 6, Vancouver 3--Dan Quinn and Mario Lemieux each scored twice at Pittsburgh to help the Penguins move into third place in the Patrick Division.

Quinn's second goal, on a rebound by Pat Coffey, broke a 3-3 tie four minutes into the final period. Jock Callander made it 5-3 10 minutes later and Lemieux finished the scoring into an empty net.

Hartford 2, Buffalo 1--Defenseman Ulf Samuelsson and former King Dave (Tiger) Williams scored the goals at Hartford that enabled the Whalers to end a two-game losing streak.

The Sabres were without veteran defenseman Mike Ramsey, who started serving an eight-game suspension for striking Quebec's Paul Gillis with his stick in a game Thursday night.

New York Rangers 3, St. Louis 2--John Ogrodnick scored midway through the last period at St. Louis to give the Rangers the victory.

Brian Mullen, who set up the winning goal, scored the Rangers' second goal in the second period to give them a 2-1 lead. But Ron Flockhart got the Blues even with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the period.

The win put the Rangers into a tie with Philadelphia for fifth place in the Patrick Division.

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