The Baltimore Skipjacks, who face the Rochester Americans at the Baltimore Arena tonight, will have more potential firepower in the lineup than at any time this season.
The Washington Capitals have assigned rookie center Dimitri Khristich, a Soviet who was signed this week, to Baltimore for three games, and have returned center Alfie Turcotte and left wing Steve Maltais. Turcotte and Maltais, who spent more than a week in the National Hockey League, are the Skipjacks' leading scorers.
Khristich, 21, who played on the Soviet world junior championship team in 1989 with Alexander Mogilny of the Buffalo Sabres and Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings, will play with Baltimore tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, then make his NHL debut at Madison Square Garden on Monday, when the Capitals face the New York Rangers.
Khristich was impressive in practice with Washington at the Mount Vernon rink yesterday. "We expect him to be an excellent addition to our team," said Capitals general manager David Poile, who earlier this year signed Soviet defenseman Mikhail Tatarinov. Tatarinov has been with the Capitals for 22 games.
One NHL scout called Khristich "the most complete young player I saw over there [in the Soviet Union]. He'll help whoever he plays for."
Turcotte and Maltais were returned to Baltimore because center Michal Pivonka (knee) and Dave Tippett (shoulder) have recovered from their injuries and will play for the Capitals tomorrow at home against the Hartford Whalers.
-! Opponent: Rochester Americans
Site: Baltimore Arena, 7:35 p.m.
Radio: WLIF (1300 AM)
Tickets: 5,000 remain
Outlook: C Dimitri Khristich, a Soviet signed by the Washington Capitals, will make his U.S. professional debut with the Skipjacks. Khristich will be with Baltimore tonight, tomorrow and Sunday, and will play for the Capitals against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden on Monday. The Skipjacks have won six of their past eight and 10 of 14 home games. This is the first meeting with Rochester. Leading scorers for the Americans are two former Skipjacks, D Bill Houlder (4 goals, 23 assists) and C Jody Gage (12 goals, 12 assists).