Perhaps it was appropriate that on a night the Edmonton Oilers paid tribute to Glen Sather, they then defeated the New York Rangers in a throwback to the high-scoring days of the 1980s.
The two teams combined for six goals in the third period, in a back-and-forth 20 minutes of hockey that finally saw the Oilers prevail with a 7-5 victory and Lauri Korpikoski celebrate a hat trick. Taylor Hall also recorded a four-point night.
Edmonton’s victory spoils Alain Vigneault’s 1,000th career game as an NHL head coach. Henrik Lundqvist was also pulled in the third period after allowing five goals on 33 shots.
Despite falling behind by a pair of goals early in the third period, the Rangers actually came back to tie the game at five goals apiece with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. It appeared this game was destined for overtime.
Not so fast.
Just 12 seconds after Rick Nash evened the score for the Rangers, Taylor Hall responded for Edmonton, scoring what would be the winner. Korpikoski finished the offensive onslaught with a goal into the empty net to secure the win for the Oilers.
That’s now five wins in a row for Edmonton. The Oilers now move into fifth in the Pacific Division with a 13-15-2 record, two points back of the second-place Vancouver Canucks.
The news wasn’t all good for the Oilers, however.
Oscar Klefbom left the game in the second period and did not return due to injury.
The night also belonged to Sather, who was so influential in the Oilers’ dynasty of the 1980s as a head coach and general manager. He was coach of the Oilers for four Stanley Cup victories and their appearance in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final.
“It was great,” Sather told NHL.com. “People are terrific here, and I think a lot of these standing ovations in Edmonton are because people are proud of us.”