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Petr Klima, whose triple-OT goal vs. Bruins propelled Oilers to a Stanley Cup in 1990, dies at 58

Petr Klima appeared at a Red Wings alumni game in 2016 in Detroit. The Red Wings were one of five NHL teams he played for.Max Ortiz/Associated Press

PRAGUE — Czech forward Petr Klima, whose goal in triple overtime of Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals was a crushing moment for the Bruins and their fans, has died. He was 58.

The news was announced by HC Litvinov, the Czech club where Klima started his career in the 1981-82 season, and by Kadan, where he previously worked as general manager. The cause of death was not given.

Klima emigrated from communist Czechoslovakia in 1985, four years before the collapse of the Iron Curtain. In 786 games across 13 seasons in the NHL, the right winger scored 313 regular-season goals and added 260 assists. He netted another 28 times with 24 assists in 95 playoff games.


He played for the Oilers, Red Wings, Lightning, Kings, and Penguins.

On May 15, 1990, the Bruins and Oilers met at Boston Garden to open a series for the Stanley Cup, a rematch of the 1988 Finals, won by Edmonton. The Oilers took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but the Bruins managed to tie the game on two goals by Ray Bourque, their Hall of Fame defenseman, the second coming with just a minute and a half left in regulation.

The teams then battled through two scoreless overtime periods, becoming more and more fatigued on a warm spring night in Boston. The little-used Klima, with fresh legs, rifled a shot past Bruins goalie Andy Moog from the right circle at 15:13 of the third overtime period, giving Edmonton a 3-2 win.

The Oilers erupted on the ice in a wild celebration as the Garden fell silent, and the Bruins never recovered. Edmonton won three of the next four games to capture its fifth Stanley Cup in seven years — and last one to date.

“The NHL mourns the passing of Czech legend Petr Klima,” the NHL said in a statement. “Klima helped the Oilers win the 1990 Stanley Cup while scoring a memorable triple-overtime winner in Game 1 of the Final. Our sympathies are with his family, friends and many fans.”


The Oilers wrote on Twitter, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Oilers alum Petr Klima & extend our condolences to his family & all loved ones.”

The team said Klima’s triple-overtime winner was one of the most iconic goals in Oilers history.

Exactly 32 years ago, on May 4, 1991, Klima scored a natural hat trick for the Oilers in 5:13 to contribute to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota North Stars.

Klima played 28 games for his country, scoring 10 times. He was on the Czechoslovak team at the 1984 Canada Cup. His two sons, Kevin and Kelly, play in the top Czech league.