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Groundbreaking Former NHL Star Petr Klima Dies at 58

Petr Klima, a former NHL star and Stanley Cup champion with the Oilers, died unexpectedly at his home in Chomutov, Czechia. He was 58.

The Czech Ice Hockey Federation confirmed Klima’s death. However, the cause of Klima’s death has not been released.

Klima spent 13 seasons in the NHL, playing for the Red Wings, Oilers, Kings, Penguins and Lightning. In the summer of 1985, Klima became the first Czech player to defect directly to North America. He subsequently began his NHL career with Detroit, wearing uniform No. 85 as a nod to the year of his defection.

He is perhaps best remembered for scoring the game-winning goal for the Oilers in the longest Stanley Cup Final game in league history. The forward scored against Bruins goalie Andy Moog in triple overtime of Game 1 of the 1990 Final.

The Oilers defeated the Bruins, 3-2, in Game 1 on their way to winning that season’s NHL championship in five games.

“The NHL mourns the passing of Czech legend Petr Klima, who scored 313 goals across 13 NHL seasons,” 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.”

In addition to recording 313 goals, Klima also registered 260 assists in an NHL career that lasted from 1985 through ’99. After his NHL playing days, Klima spent two seasons playing for Litvinov in the Czech league and serving as the team’s captain.