Denfeld News

October 11, 1992
Associated Press

Comeback’s complete: Stauber wins in NHL

Two and a half years later, Robb Stauber made the most of his second chance.

Stauber, a Duluth native who had allowed 11 goals in two appearances with the Los Angeles Kings in March 1990, returned to the National Hockey League Saturday night and posted his first NHL victory, stopping 26 shots on goal as the Kings defeated the Winnipeg Jets 6-3.

The Denfeld graduate had dropped back into the minor leagues after his first stint with the Kings and had been bothered by injuries while playing the past two and a half seasons in the minor leagues at New Haven, Conn., and Phoenix. But he won the backup goaltending job in training camp this preseason, posting a 3-0-1 record, and won Saturday in his first start of the season.

Winnipeg scored on two of its nine shots in the first period, but Stauber was sharp after that, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the second period and all six in the third.

Kings first-year coach Barry Melrose, apparently liking what he’s seen of Stauber, said he is going to ask Stauber to play a more active role than previous backup goalies in Los Angeles who watched Kelly Hrudey play most of the schedule. The new coach anticipated a 50-30 split in games in Hrudey’s favor.

“I’m not really worried about that,” Stauber said. “I’m just worried about helping this team win some games. Being my first year, I just want to get in there and have a chance.”

Jari Kurri, coming off his worst NHL season, scored his first two goals of the season in a two-minute span of the third period to lead the Kings offense. Cloquet native Corey Millen, a teammate of Stauber’s at the University of Minnesota, assisted on Marty McSorley’s first-period power-play goal for the Kings.

The crowd of 14,509 snapped a string of 75 consecutive sellouts at the Forum, including playoffs, dating to Dec. 5, 1990, against Winnipeg. The Kings are playing without superstar Wayne Gretzky, who has a back injury.

Kurri, reunited with Gretzky after many successful years in Edmonton, managed only 23 goals and 60 points last season.

“Kurri was great the whole preseason,” Melrose said. “The guys that everyone told me to be scared of — Kurri, McSorley, (Paul) Coffee, (Charlie) Huddy — they’ve responded great. I can’t say enough about Jari.”

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