Don Beaupre is expected to be in goal when the Washington Capitals meet the Canadiens at the Montreal Forum tonight.
Beaupre, who missed all of training camp and the preseason in a contract dispute, spent Friday and Saturday on rehabilitation assignment with the Baltimore Skipjacks of the American Hockey League and led them to 5-2 and 7-1 victories over the Fredericton Canadiens.
Beaupre made 49 saves in the two wins, and two of the goals he allowed were during Fredericton power plays. After Saturday's sharp performance, in which Beaupre made 29 saves, stopping three breakaways, he was recalled to the Capitals and practiced with the National Hockey League club yesterday.
"The idea was for me to get in some work, some playing time and get ready to play for the Capitals," Beaupre said. "I really feel good. I'm seeing the puck well, and getting a chance to play in a game gets you mentally ready, which is a very important part of the game. I hope I'll get to start . . . in Montreal."
Mike Liut, who has started all of the Capitals games this season, has lost three of five and allowed 18 goals on 88 shots.
Jim Hrivnak, who has been backing up Liut, was expected to be returned to Baltimore in time for the game tomorrow at the Baltimore Arena against the Utica Devils.
The Capitals, in an effort to bolster their attack, recalled left wing Steve Maltais from the Skipjacks after Saturday's win, along with defenseman Chris Felix, who is expected to help the struggling power play.
Maltais had four goals in the two games against Fredericton, including a hat trick Saturday night. Felix, the trigger man on the Baltimore power play, had five assists in three games.
"It's nice to get a chance to play for the Capitals," said Maltais, who lost a spot on Washington's roster after a unproductive preseason. "It was also great to have the puck start dropping for me. Getting the first goal was the key. It gave me confidence. Now I just hope I can help out in Washington."
The Capitals sent two defensemen, Bobby Babcock and Mark Ferner, to the Skipjacks and returned rookie left wing Dave Lorentz to his Canadian college team.