NHL Roundup : Capitals Make Quick Work of Penguins, 8-0
In less than 7 minutes, the Washington Capitals put 7 games of frustration against the Pittsburgh Penguins behind them.
The Capitals scored 5 goals, including 2 by Bengt Gustafsson, in a 6:56 span of the second period and snapped a 7-game losing streak against Pittsburgh with an 8-0 victory Monday at Landover, Md.
“It’s a good sign for us,” said Geoff Courtnall of Washington’s first victory over the Penguins since Jan. 1, 1988. “It’s a big win. We need to play this way every time. To dominate like that was surprising. But it’s just one game.”
Dave Christian also had 2 goals for the Capitals, who held Mario Lemieux scoreless for the first time in his last 15 games. Goalie Pete Peeters handed Pittsburgh its first shutout of the season.
The Penguins had scored at least 2 goals in their previous 37 games.
Pittsburgh, with defensemen Paul Coffey and Zarley Zalapski injured and forward Bob Errey out with the flu, was outshot, 45-14.
Lemieux, the league’s leading scorer who had 32 points in his previous 9 games, including 8 Saturday against New Jersey, had only 1 shot on goal.
“They (the Capitals) were at the top of their game, and we were at the bottom of ours,” Pittsburgh Coach Gene Ubriaco said. “They didn’t give us a chance to get unwound. (We) have to play better than (we) played.”
The loss was the worst of the season for the Patrick Division leaders. Pittsburgh had lost only once in 10 previous games and was 4-1-2 in its previous 7 road games.
Capital Coach Bryan Murray said he saw it coming, predicting in a team meeting that the team would get plenty of shots.
“It’s one game in our building,” he said. “I thought, watching the last few games we had played, there would be some opportunity to shoot the puck. It was a matter of taking advantage of our opportunities.”
Washington extended its home unbeaten streak to 8 games, 6 of them victories, and its 8 goals equaled a season high.
Edmonton 3, Minnesota 2--Esa Tikkanen’s 24th goal of the season, 3:10 into overtime, lifted the Oilers to a victory over the North Stars at Bloomington, Minn.
Minnesota’s Stewart Gavin tied the game, 2-2, with 4:34 left in the third period on a feed from Bob Rouse after Charlie Huddy’s power-play goal with 6:57 left gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
The North Stars scored first on Neal Broten’s goal 49 seconds into the second period, and the Oilers got even on Jimmy Carson’s 31st goal at 1:56 of the third period.
New York Rangers 5, Hartford 4--David Shaw scored a pair of power-play goals, including the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the Rangers turned back the Whalers at New York.
Former Whaler Carey Wilson, acquired in a 4-player trade just a week ago, scored the tying goal for the Rangers before Shaw put them ahead, 4-3, with a shot from the point at 7:28. Rookie Tony Granato clinched the victory on a breakaway goal at 18:41.
The Rangers, who are 4-0-1 in their last 5 games, moved to within 2 points of Pittsburgh in the Patrick Division.
Boston 8, St. Louis 7--Rookie center Craig Janney, returning after missing 8 games with a groin injury, set up 4 goals to lead the Bruins past the Blues at Boston.
Janney’s 3 assists helped Boston to a 7-3 lead after three periods, and after St. Louis rallied with 3 straight goals in the final period, Janney set up Bob Joyce’s goal that proved to be the game-winner.
The Bruins, who beat New Jersey, 6-2, on Thursday, won consecutive games for the first time since late November.