Glenn Anderson scored at 7:24 of the third period to climax a three-goal rally that gave the Edmonton Oilers a 5-2 victory over the Flames in Calgary last night, forcing a decisive seventh game in their quarterfinal series.
The defending two-time Stanley Cup champion Oilers staved off elimination on the road, and will be the home team for Game 7 of the Smythe Division final at Northlands Coliseum Wednesday night. The Flames have won two of the three playoff games there. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup semifinal against St. Louis or Toronto.
In an effort to get his offense untracked, Oilers Coach Glen Sather tired new line combinations. Jari Kurri was dropped from Wayne Gretzky's line to play with Mark Messier and Tikkanen. Anderson and Mike Krushelnyski lined up with Gretzky on the first line.
The move paid off as Gretzky initiated the rush on the winning goal, flying end-to-end, stopping inside the Flames' blue line and passing to Paul Coffey breaking in on the left side. Coffey fed Anderson in the slot and the Anderson scored his seventh playoff goal with a shot between rookie Mike Vernon's legs to the dismay of most of 16,762 fans.
Krushelnyski hit an empty net with 22 seconds remaining, and Craig MacTavish followed 11 seconds later with a wrist shot past Vernon.
*Maple Leafs 5, Blues 3: In Toronto, Walt Poddubny scored the go-ahead goal with 7:35 left, then Dan Daoust scored into an empty net with 44 seconds left as the Maple Leafs forced a decisive seventh game in the Norris Division finals.
The finale will be played on Wednesday night in St. Louis.
Toronto, which finished 19th of 21 teams in the regular season, is but a game away from its first Stanley Cup semifinal berth since 1978. The Blues, who were 26 points ahead of the Maple Leafs this season, haven't reached the semifinal since 1972.
"A lot of guys are upset and that's a good sign," Blues Coach Jacques Demers said.
Steve Thomas was Toronto's scoring leader, scoring twice and setting up Tom Fergus for another. Doug Gilmour scored twice and Mark Hunter once for the Blues.
Poddubny got past his check, Gino Cavallini, to take a pass from Miroslav Frycer. He stick-handled past goalie Greg Millen and slide the puck into the open net as he fell.
St. Louis led by one entering the third period but Thomas tied it, 3-3, at 1:16.
The Maple Leafs lost right winger Rick Vaive early in the second period. Vaive, who has six playoff goals and was one of the club's best performers in the series, suffered a back spasm.