Wayne Gretzky knows all about winning. The rest of the Los Angeles Kings are learning.
The Kings took a 1-0 lead into the third period at Chicago Stadium on Sunday night in the type of game they've traditionally found a way to lose. But with Daniel Berthiaume making 14 of his 40 saves in the final period, the Kings rode out the storm and went home with a 2-0 victory, their first shutout at Chicago Stadium since Dec. 22, 1977."We haven't won this kind of game in the three years I have been here," Gretzky said after the victory over the Blackhawks gave the Kings a split of their six-game road trip and moved them within one point of Calgary in the Smythe Division. "I feel this team can definitely stay with the pack."
The Kings were outshot 14-1 in the third period before Steve Kasper hit the empty net with one second remaining. Gretzky said his experience with Edmonton, where he led the Oilers to four Stanley Cups, came in handy in a tight game.
"I've been there before many times in situations where it was going to be a one-goal hockey game. And you know it's going to be a lucky goal to win it," said Gretzky, who set up Luc Robitaille's second-period power-play goal to take over the NHL scoring lead.
Gretzky has 29 points, one more than Pittsburgh's John Cullen. He has 26 during a league-high 13-game scoring streak.
Robitaille rammed Gretzky's feed past Ed Belfour at 6:44 of the second period and Berthiaume made the one-goal lead stand up for his fifth career shutout.
"Daniel stood them on their heads. He was sensational," Gretzky said.
"I was ready to face the music," said Berthiaume, now 6-1-0 after being acquired from Minnesota just before training camp. "But ever since the beginning of camp, everything has been going really well."
Steve Thomas thought he had beaten Berthiaume with 5:21 left when he was alone in front. But Berthiaume stopped the shot and Chris Chelios was wide with the rebound.
"He really came up with a great stop, but then he did it all night long," Thomas said.