Capitals rebound for 3-2 win over Rangers Semifinal series is even at 2-2

April 10, 1991|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Correspondent

LANDOVER -- How did the Washington Capitals bounce back from the worst defeat at home in the team's 71-game playoff history?

"We didn't mope around and feel sorry for ourselves," said Capitals defenseman Kevin Hatcher. "If you do that, you're asking for trouble."

Hatcher got Washington rolling toward a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers last night in Game 4 of the Patrick Division semifinal series with a goal early in the second period, and the Capitals went on to tie the best-of-seven series at two games each.

Game 5 will be played tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden.

Washington was shut out by the Rangers, 6-0, Sunday at the Capital Centre in Game 3 of the series.

"We knew the situation," Hatcher said. "No one had to remind us of anything. We went out and played Caps hockey. We did all the little things that we need to do to win. We worked hard and didn't give them quality chances. The ones we gave them, Don [Beaupre, 19 saves] stopped."

Hatcher scored from in front of the net with 25 seconds gone in the second period to tie the score at one and ignite a three-goal run by Washington before 15,741 at the Capital Centre.

After Hatcher set the scene for the second period, Washington dominated play most of the remainder of the game.

The Capitals got goals from Dave Tippett at 15 minutes, 31 seconds in the second period and Alan May at 9:27 of the third period to surge ahead, 3-1.

May's goal was the first of his playoff career.

New York made things interesting at 14:32 of the third period on a Mark Janssens goal to reduce the lead to 3-2. But the Capitals held on in the final minutes.

New York coach Roger Neilson said it was Hatcher who turned the game around last night.

"When he scored early in the second, it revved them up," said Neilson. "They outplayed us in the second. They were more desperate, and it showed."

Neilson also said, "Our guys did a good job against Dino Ciccarelli, but Tippett hurt us. He really hustled."

But Ciccarelli burned the Rangers once last night, setting up Tippett's goal that sent Washington ahead, 2-1, in the second period.

Ciccarelli looked as if he were going to skate around the net, but suddenly stopped and got the puck to Tippett for the goal.

Tippett said: "Dino's a great player. He attracts a crowd, and that opens things up for a guy like me and others on the team."

Capitals coach Terry Murray said, "We got some great plays tonight and that was the difference. Dale Hunter's line -- Ciccarelli and Tippett -- did a super job and were really intense."

Murray said Hatcher's goal was the one that lifted the team's "intensity up to a different level. It really turned the bench on."

Murray said New York goaltender Mike Richter prevented Washington from having an easier night.

"He was the difference in the second period when we were attacking most of the time," said Murray. "Mike Richter's a hell of a goaltender. You're not going to get six or seven goals by him."

Richter had 23 saves.

N.Y. Rangers 1 ... 0 ... 1 -- 2

Washington 0 ... 2 ... 1 -- 3

First period--1, New York, Nicholls 4 (Turcotte, Gartner), 4:04. Penalties--Moeller, NY (interference), :52; Hunter, Was (roughing), :52; Lalor, Was (hooking), 2:03; Kocur, NY (interference), 5:29; Shaw, NY (roughing), 10:58; Mallette, NY, minor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:58; Kypreos, Was, minor-misconduct (roughing), 10:58; May, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:58; Leach, Was (high-sticking), 12:30; Langway, Was (cross-checking), 16:15; King, NY (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:16; Sabourin, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:16.

Second period--2, Washington, Hatcher 1 (Tippett, Hunter), :25. 3, Washington, Tippett 1 (Ciccarelli, Hunter), 15:31. Penalties--Nicholls, NY (roughing), :55; Hardy, NY (high-sticking), :55; Hunter, Was (roughing), :55; Kypreos, Was (tripping), 7:52; Hardy, NY (roughing), 11:39; Patrick, NY (roughing), 11:39; Kocur, NY (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:39; Hatcher, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:39; Hunter, Was (roughing), 11:39; Ciccarelli, Was (roughing), 11:39.

Third period--4, Washington, May 1 (Lalor, Bergland), 9:27. 5, New York, Janssens 2 (Leetch), 14:32. Penalties--None.

Shots on goal--New York 8-7-6--21. Washington 6-11-9--26. Power-play opportunities--New York 0 of 4; Washington 0 of 2. Goalies--New York, Richter, 2-2 (26 shots-23 saves). Washington, Beaupre, 2-2 (21-19). A--15,741. Referee--Ron Hoggarth. Linesmen--Ray Scapinello, Dan Schachte.

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