Wayne Gretzky's goal with 3:57 left in the third period gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-3 National Hockey League tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight.
The tie extended the Oilers' unbeaten streak to 13 games (10-0-3) since the beginning of the season -- one short of tying Montreal's league record, set in 1943. They will go for a share of the record Thursday night in East Rutherford, N.J., against the New Jersey Devils. If they tie or beat the Devils, the Oilers would go after sole possession of the record Friday against the Washington Capitals in Landover, Md.
A crowd of 16,033 attended tonight's game, marking the first sellout at the Civic Center since Oct. 9, 1982.
Gretzky beat goalie Denis Herron with a rebound of a shot by Jari Kurri. It was Gretzsky's 13th goal and continued his streak of at least one point in every game this season.
Warren Young gave Pittsburgh a 3-2 lead at 10:13 of the third period with his second goal of the game and 11th of the season. Young took a pass from rookie Mario Lemieux and fired a high slap shot past Grant Fuhr from the top of the faceoff circle.
"He played great tonight," Lemieux, the No. 1 pick in the 1984 draft, said of Gretzky. "Our checking line did a great job on him. He only got one goal, and that was against me."
Gretzky offered some advice for Lemieux, the most touted player to enter the league since Gretzky.
"In an 80-game schedule, he's going to find there are a lot of peaks but there are a few valleys, too," Gretzky said. "He's going to find out that you're not going to win every game and score four goals a night like juniors. If he keeps a level head, he'll be all right."
Young gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead at 5:05 of the first period when he flicked a 20-footer past Fuhr. Kevin McClelland tied it at 15:35 of the first with his fourth goal of the season.
The Oilers took a 2-1 lead with 27 seconds left in the first when Willie Lindstrom converted a rebound for his second goal of the seasson.
Jim Hamilton tied the score for Pittsburgh at 4:17 of the second period.