Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Los Angeles Kings' impossible comeback against Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers deserves a deep rewind

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(pulsating music)

- [Narrator] We're in Los Angeles, California.

It's April 10th, 1982, game three

of the Smythe Divisional Semi-Finals

between the Kings and the Oilers.

The teams are tied at five and we're in overtime

with a face-off in the Oiler zone.

You might know what's about to happen

but none of these guys do.

They've battled for over three periods

and just 20 minutes earlier, wouldn't have believed

they'd need overtime to decide this.

For everything that got us to this moment

and made tonight a once in a lifetime game, let's rewind.

Tonight marked the 11th time in 83 games this season

that the Oilers and Kings faced one another.

That's over an eighth of their games

against the same opponent and prior to the 81-82 season,

they'd only met eight times total.

This was partly due to Edmonton joining the NHL just

three years earlier but it was also thanks to

some big changes implemented by the league for this season.

Looking to promote rivalries within divisions,

they made the bulk of each teams schedule inter-divisional

games. In an effort to save money on travel expenses, the

NHL also shook up the divisions so

they were more geographically defined.

Instead of being grouped with Detroit, Pittsburgh, Hartford,

and Montreal, the Kings shifted to the Smythe,

with Calgary, Vancouver, Colorado, and Edmonton.

For L.A., having to face the Oilers

with more regularity could've come at a better time.

Edmonton began their life in the NHL

with 28 and 29-win seasons, before

becoming a force in year three.

In the 81-82 season, they finished second

in the league standings, behind the

two-time defending champion, Islanders.

Edmonton won the Smythe by 34 points and the biggest reason

for their success was this guy.

Wayne Gretzky had a season that

those following the sport had never seen before.

He became the fastest player ever to score 50 goals

in a season, breakingRocketRichard

and Mike Bossy's record by 11 games.

He went on to score a new NHL record, 92 goals

and also broke his own records for assists and total points.

Gretzky wasn't the only one though. The Oilers became the

first team ever to score 400 goals in a season, finishing

with 417, which was 71 more than the next highest scorer

in the conference.

They were built on speed and had the youth

to keep it up for an entire year.

Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson,

Jari Kurri, all of these guys were still

under 21 by the end of the season.

And now in overtime, Edmonton's hoping

their kids can reignite the offensive spark

that they opened the game with.

Back in the first period everything had gone right

for the Oilers, the game had opened up as a race

between the teams, which played perfectly

into the hand of Edmonton.

The Oilers scored first on a quick counter

where Glenn Anderson found Messier cross-ice

and the center put it in from 40 feet out.

This is what they'd done all season, using their speed

in the open ice to let passing dictate the offense.

Most defenses at the time mainly paid attention

to just the guy with the puck.

You stop him and you stop the offense.

The Oilers though played with an emphasis

on passing and off-puck skating, a style

that was more common in Europe than North America.

And while their speed and stretch passes also led

to turnovers, when the offense averaged

over five goals per game, they could deal

with some slip-ups.

Later in the first period, Gretzky added

to the lead by doing, well, what he does.

That short-handed goal put the Oilers up two-nothing

at intermission and 43 seconds into the second,

Edmonton netted another goal during that same penalty kill.

From there, tempers started to flare,

19 penalties were called in the second period,

which included six coincidental minors, another area

that the Oilers had been capitalizing on all season.

With players sitting from both sides, their style

of offense put them at an advantage, since fewer bodies

on the ice meant more space to go to work.

This was on display just over five minutes

into the second, when Gretzky stole the puck

behind the Kings net during a three on three.

The defense turned his way giving Siltanen room

to bury a one timer that actually went through the net

causing play a continue, until the ref signaled goal,

Edmonton's fourth. A few minutes later, Gretzky nabbed

his second of the night and the teams headed

into the third separated by five goals.

Not a great start for L.A. and honestly,

this is what people expected from the series.

A year after a 43 win season where

they made the playoffs as the fourth seed.

The Kings disappointed in 81-82.

They won just 24 games and only reached the post season

thanks to the NHL's new penchant for divisional match-ups,

which they also built the playoffs around.

With a roster nearly identical to the year before, the

big change for the King's came in the coaching department.

Bob Berry, who had coached L.A. since '78, left

for Montreal and the club promoted assistant coach,

Parker MacDonald, to take his spot.

MacDonald had a checkered coaching past.

He won AHL Coach of the Year, with L.A.'s affiliated team

in New Haven, but was yet to coach a full season

in the pros.

That wouldn't change this year, as he led the King's

to a record of 13-24-and-5.

After that, the organization changed his title

to assistant GM and brought in Don Perry as his successor.

Another coach from the New Haven Nighthawks.

In Perry's first month on the job,

he'd receive a six game suspension

for ordering Paul Mulvey to leave the bench

to join a brawl.

Despite the turmoil surrounding the team, the

Kings would slightly improve their winning

percentage under Perry, but if their regular season series

with the Oilers was any indication, their time

in the playoffs would be short.

That season, L.A. won one of eight games against Edmonton

and forced two ties while being outscored 51 to 27.

This included back to back losses to the Oilers

at the end of the season, which added

to a five game skid going into the post season

for the Kings, all while Edmonton was unbeaten

in their last nine.

But streaks can come to an end and the Kings quickly proved

they weren't going to bend over to Gretzky

and company through the first two games.

After being down four-one just nine minutes

into the series, the Kings rallied back

in an offensive back and forth that broke the record

for most goals in an NHL playoff game.

L.A. pulled off the upset in Edmonton,

after winning just five games on the road, all season.

Their unexpected points leader, rookie Daryl Evans,

scored twice in the second and added a pair of assists.

Playing in just his 14th professional game,

Those second period goals matched his season total

and he carried the momentum into game two

where he netted his third of the playoffs.

The Kings took the Oilers to overtime

and despite Gretzky giving Edmonton a three-two win,

L.A. had already done more than was expected of them.

They headed to the forum for games three and four,

where no one would have guessed they'd have a chance

to take the series in front of their home crowd.

But that would require winning tonight

and winning tonight would require a miraculous effort

by L.A.

Back to the start of the third and the Kings still faced

that five nothing hole.

A hard check by Dave Lumley in the corner got

everyone fired up and following a minor scrum,

each team was down to four skaters.

This time though, L.A. would be the team

to capitalize on the extra ice.

With Jay Wells sending in the Kings first of the night.

Less than four minutes later, L.A. found themselves

with their ninth power-play of the game.

And they finally ended one early, thanks

to Doug Smith putting in a rebound just

under the crossbar.

With their lead trimmed to three, the Oilers offense tried

to heat back up, but when their chances weren't snuffed

out by the Kings, the goalpost made the stops.

Gretzky would take a stick to the face, skaters paired

up and it looked like momentum was done swinging

in L.A.'s favor, as the Kings gifted the Oilers a

five on three advantage.

But the Oilers offense was stymied just long enough

and with under five and 1/2 remaining, the Kings made

their final push.

It started with a steal in the Oilers end, which led

to Charlie Simmer sneaking one in from behind the net.

Less than a minute later, the Kings broke out off

a Gretzky turnover and Steve Bozek hit a wrister

for L.A.'s second four on four goal for the game.

With under a minute to play, now down one,

an Oilers penalty plus an empty net gave the

Kings a two-man advantage.

The final 15 seconds had both teams scrambling

in the Oilers end before the puck reached Hardy

at the point.

- [Sports Announcer] In front, to the blue line,

to Hardy, he shoots, save, rebound, score!

(crowd roaring)

I see it and I still don't believe it.

- [Narrator] With five seconds left, Bozek put

in the rebound and after one last face-off, the teams

headed to overtime.

In extra time though, it once again looked

like the Kings magic had run out, 20 seconds

in and Lessard's attempt to corral a shot, sent

him sprawling.

The puck found Messier, who got a chance

at an untended net, but he sailed it wide.

After some back and forth play, the Kings were able

to establish possession and Doug Smith threw

in a shot that Fuhr grabbed and hung on to.

Which brings us to this face-off

and despite all the scoring that's happened tonight, one

of the Kings on the ice is still looking to make his mark.

In the 1980 NHL entry draft, the Kings took Daryl Evans

in the second to last round at 178 overall.

Evans spent most of 81-82 with the Kings AHL affiliate

in New Haven, before getting called up

for the final month of the regular season

and his first games in the majors.

He made just over a dozen appearances,

but went mostly unnoticed before this series began.

Just a few months removed from newspapers misspelling

his name, Evans was looking to give them reason

to get it right, but so far tonight, he was yet

to show up in the score summary.

And as the forum waits for the face-off,

no one knows what'll come next in

this already miraculous comeback.

The Kings have battled back just to get here,

while the Oilers had to scramble to regain

their composure and now hope to put an end

to this improbable night.

All the names you'd expect have been involved

and have given brilliant performances,

while an unheralded rookie waits in the wings, looking

to cement his spot in the pros.

Unknown to them, it would all come down

to this final drop of the puck.

Welcome to a moment in history.

- [Sports Announcer] On the draw, shot by Evans, it's good!

Oh! (crowd roaring)

The Description of The Los Angeles Kings' impossible comeback against Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers deserves a deep rewind