January 25, 2013
Last-minute Yakupov goal propels Edmonton Oilers to 2-1 win over L.A. Kings

Nail Yakupov celebrates his game-tying goal with 4.7 seconds left against the L.A. Kings Thursday at Rexall Place. The Oilers won 2-1 in overtime. (Amber Bracken, Edmonton Sun)

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers were as good as Tom Kowal and Greg Kimmerly were bad.

And if you saw the dreadful train wreck of officiating Thursday night at Rexall Place, that’s saying something.

On a night when the old Oilers might have thrown their arms up in frustration at what many veteran observers called the most poorly officiated game they’ve seen in years, they didn’t.

They threw them up in celebration instead, after Nail Yakupov tied it with 4.7 seconds left in the third period and Sam Gagner won it in overtime, giving them a wild-and-woolly 2-1 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings.

See Yakupov's much-talked about celebration

“If we do end up making the season special, I think this is a night that we can look back as being the start of it,” said Taylor Hall. “I know it’s only the third game, but for us to show the wherewithal to stick with it was very impressive.”