Oilers 7, Kings 3
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ Kent Nilsson scored two goals in the first 42 seconds to spark the Edmonton Oilers - playing without center Wayne Gretzky - to a 7-3 NHL victory over the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night.
The two goals came on nearly identical plays as Glenn Anderson set up Nilsson in front of the Kigns net for goals at the 12-second and 42-second mark.
The game marked only the eighth time in Gretzky’s eight-year NHL career that he was absent from the Oilers’ lineup. Gretzky, along with defenseman Paul Coffey, were given the night off by Oilers Coach and General Manager Glen Sather to freshen up for the upcoming playoffs.
The Kings rebounded to tie the game at 2-2 before the six-minute mark on goals by Bernie Nicholls and rookie Luc Robitaille.
Robitaille’s goal was his 45th of the season, setting a record for goals by a rookie left-wing. Buffalo’s Richard Martin had scored 44 goals as a rookie in the 1971-72 season.
A short-handed goal by Dave Hunter at 6:32 of the first period and a power- play goal by Esa Tikkanen with 2:15 left in the period gave the Oilers a 4-2 led.
Sean McKenna scored 27 seconds into the second period to pull the Kings within 4-3, but the Oilers answered with three unanswered goals before the end of the second period.
Reijo Ruotsalainen scored 58 seconds into the period and Jeff Beukboom and Craig McTavish scored late in the period.