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Oilers’ Yakupov celebrates in style; Kings lose in overtime

Jan 25, 2013, 1:41 AM EDT

Yakupov 2 Getty Images

Three games into the 2013 season, and the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings are still searching for their first win.

They were less than five seconds away from the feat Thursday night in Edmonton.

The Kings held a 1-0 lead over the Edmonton Oilers thanks to a second period goal from Jeff Carter, but Nail Yakupov scored with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation time, slapping the puck out of mid-air and past goalie Jonathan Quick.

For Yakupov, the first overall pick in last June’s NHL Entry Draft, it was his second goal of his rookie season. He celebrated by frantically throwing his hands in the air, skating wildly to the Kings blue line then dropping to his knees.

His slide took him inside his own blue line, almost to his own net, reminiscent of Theo Fleury’s renowned celebration from 1991.

It didn’t sit well with the Kings.

The Kings still salvaged the single point, but came away with a 2-1 overtime loss. Oilers forward Sam Gagner scored his first goal of the season on the power play with 1:59 remaining in the extra period to give Edmonton the win.

Even Quick’s 37 saves weren’t enough.

The Kings were without Dustin Penner, who was made a healthy scratch, and defenseman Willie Mitchell.

The 35-year-old Mitchell still has yet to play a game this year for L.A., despite being cleared to play following knee surgery during the lockout.

  1. kingfooj - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    the kid needs to settle down

  2. sergeikremlin - Jan 25, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Yakupov better keep his head up.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    I’ve long found it interesting how some players celebrate a goal by dashing away from their teammates, as if to ensure, consciously or not, that all attention is on them, while others turn to their teammates to celebrate together. I don’t recall seeing the solo dashes before 1980. Not sure what changed.

    • 19to77 - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:36 AM

      I like to call it the Ovechkin Manuever.

      • miketoasty - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        To further your initial point, look at how all his teammates come over to congratulate him and he literally just leaves them there. It’s exactly as you said, he wanted all the attention on him.

  4. jhuck92 - Jan 25, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    I think the game needs more of this. One of the best things in EA Sports’ NHL (FIFA, too) is doing all kinds of goal celebrations. I’m not saying be selfish about it by completely ignoring your teammates, but have some kind of emotion when you score. It gets the crowd even more pumped up.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      That’s how you ensure that a pummeling is coming your way next game. This isn’t the NFL or the NBA, this is hockey.

      • jhuck92 - Jan 25, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        Yes, this is hockey. You’re going to get pummeled anyway. But what separates the NHL from the NBA or NFL is the fact that you can do things like this without being fined for taunting/unsportsmanlike conduct. A beating might come, but I can almost guarantee you his goal and ensuing celebration will be featured in an upcoming NHL highlight reel. Give the kid credit; he tied it with a few seconds left. You’re telling me you wouldn’t be excited as well?

    • darksidecowboy - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Sorry man, having fun in a “game” is not allowed in the NHL.

  5. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 25, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 25, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      ^ Heh, yup. As long as this doesn’t become a regular occurrence, I see no problem.

  6. lordfletcher - Jan 25, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I see nothing wrong with what the young man did at all. The dude had a very good game, should have got credit for a goal earlier and was robbed once… he tie’s the game up with 10 seconds left (or whatever it was) on a SICK batting of the puck and bolts to a slide.

    looks like he was having fun and enjoying the moment. Good for him

    -wild fan

  7. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 25, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    A little excessive exuberance from a passionate young player who loves the game. No big deal this time. Someone older will have a chat with him in due course. Perhaps the captain or his agent.

    • valoisvipers - Jan 25, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Once again friend your are spot on with your post. Scoring a the tying goal with 4.6 seconds left is cause for celebration and I rather enjoyed his Theo like slide but no I wouldn’t want him to do it all the time but in certain situations as this was, it is OK.
      It’s not like he did the Ovi burning hot stick trick which is never OK.

      • ThatGuy - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        Agreed. If this was a 1st or 2nd period goal, it would be slightly out of line. Game tying goal with seconds left? Your allowed to be pumped.

  8. gscheelar - Jan 25, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    This was a big goal for a young guy early in his career, especially when you add in that the Oilers had gotten jobbed on the waved off goal only a minute before. If this were a goal in the second period to bring the Oilers within two of their opponents and he did this, it would be an entirely different story. I thought it was great.

    Then again, I did not mind the “hot stick” thing by Ovechkin either–that was after a big goal for him.

  9. bhawksrule - Jan 25, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Given the situation with the non-goal call a minute earlier, I can forgive him for leaving his teammates in celebration after this game tying thriller . I mean come on, if you watch the last 2 minutes of regulation with all of the commotion, he was caught up in the moment, and allowed to be.

  10. jhunter21 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    I liked it. Given the circumstance, after a game tying goal was disallowed, and the kid is playing his 3rd NHL game, his passion is warranted. The people in the building were just as frantic and excited, so to me, Yakupov’s celebration was perfect for how the building must have felt.

  11. broncosfan29 - Jan 25, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    The NHL needs more guys like this and less whiney cry babies like Stoll

  12. malvaren18 - Jan 25, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    I thought it’s a game and games supposed to be fun.

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