That wasn't all that went wrong for Bucyk. A puck to the forehead Tuesday caused a nine-stitch gash over his left eye. He got back on the ice in time to score the short-handed goal that gave the Eagles a 4-4 tie and sent the game into overtime, but his surprise backhander with :17 left and the angle open hit the goalpost instead of going in for what would have been the winning goal.

Then, his head still bleeding, Bucyk boarded a hotel van for the ride back from the rink, and the van conked out a mile and a half from the hotel. Bucyk, Marc Bureau, Martin Simard and Jim Leavins had to walk back to the hotel.

*** The Eagles hadn't allowed a power-play goal to an opponent in seven straight games, and only one in nine games, but Denver scored three in the two games at Denver Coliseum.

*** Eagle captain Rich Chernomaz scored his 99th point of the season Wednesday but had to argue for it. The assist on a Jim Leavins first-period goal was originally credited to Jim Johannson by the Denver scorers, but it was obviously Chernomaz who made the important pass. The Ranger scorers didn't even show Chernomaz on the ice at the time.