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This One Makes Fans Fuhr-ious : Hockey: Kings' new goalie draws boos in 6-2 loss to Vancouver. He has given up 17 goals in last three starts.

February 19, 1995|LISA DILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was a night of Fuhr and loathing at the Forum during the Vancouver Canucks' 6-2 victory over the Kings on Saturday.

Goaltender Grant Fuhr, granted his wish to play more often, made his King debut and quickly found out there are few similarities between his new team's defense and his old team, the Buffalo Sabres.

The Canucks systematically picked apart the Kings (4-7-3) with four power-play goals in eight opportunities. Defenseman Jeff Brown led the way with one goal and three assists, right wing Trevor Linden scored twice and added an assist and left wing Geoff Courtnall scored twice.

Fuhr has given up 17 goals in his last three starts, but he had little if no help during the Canucks' power-play onslaughts. In the second period, he gave up four goals on nine shots with three coming on the power play.

"It was a tough night," Fuhr said. "I just was not real sharp and there was a little bit of rust and I was fighting the puck. It turned into a bad combination. You've got to make the big stop, the big save. I didn't do that tonight."

Said Wayne Gretzky: "I feel bad for Grant. It wasn't his fault. We played a silly game tonight."

Forward Tony Granato agreed, saying, "Anytime you give up diagonal passes like that and one-timers, I don't care who is in the net. He was a victim of what was in front of him. By no means was he at fault. He can't get down. He'll be back. Everyone knows what he can do."

So what about the loathing?

The sellout crowd of 16,005 voiced its displeasure by booing the Kings off the ice after the second period, greeting them the same way before the third and finishing off the game in consistent fashion.

Perhaps it has something to do with last Tuesday's controversial trade with the Sabres, the one sending 22-year-old defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, goaltender Robb Stauber and defenseman Charlie Huddy to Buffalo for Fuhr and defensemen Denis Tsygurov and Philippe Boucher.

Or, maybe it was the accumulation of three consecutive losses at the Forum and just two victories at home (2-6-1) this season.

Vancouver (3-5-5) has hardly been formidable, either.

The Canucks, who reached the Stanley Cup finals last season, have been distracted by contract squabbles, injuries and Murray Craven's ongoing arbitration saga.

This was Vancouver's third victory in 13 games.

For the Kings, Gretzky finally broke his goal-less streak with his first goal in 10 games when he scored on a power play at 10:12 of the second period.

His previous goal was Jan. 26 against St. Louis.

Gretzky also assisted on defenseman Darryl Sydor's power-play goal at 1:05 of the second, which was Gretzky's first multiple-point game in 12 games.

Although the Kings outshot the Canucks, 32-30, they still continue to struggle offensively.

Gretzky isn't the only one who hasn't been scoring.

Jari Kurri, with three goals, has not scored in six consecutive games and Rick Tocchet, who has eight goals, has gone without a goal in four consecutive games.

*

King Notes

Forward Dan Quinn joined the long list of injured players with, what else, a groin injury. Quinn had one goal and three assists in 10 games. None of the four injured defensemen--Rob Blake, Marty McSorley, Michel Petit or Tim Watters--are expected to return in time for Monday's game in Vancouver.

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