Capitals cruise past Penguins, 6-2 Winning streak at 4

record in Patrick 9-0

November 16, 1991|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Correspondent

LANDOVER -- Rod Langway had a headache and a beat-up nose last night. He played only one period, but that was all he was needed.

"I can't see any flaws in our game," said the Washington Capitals defenseman, who was hit in the head Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. "And when that happens, you're going to win games."

Washington isn't just winning games, it is embarrassing a lot of supposedly good teams in the NHL.

This time, the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins got thrashed, 6-2, before a sellout crowd of 18,130 at the Capital Centre.

Washington has outscored Pittsburgh, 14-2, in two games this season and is 9-0 against Patrick Division opponents. The Capitals (15-4) have won four straight and seven of their past eight to tie the Montreal Canadiens for the overall points lead in the NHL with 30.

Some people keep waiting for the party to end for coach Terry Murray and his team.

But Murray said this hasn't been any magic carpet ride for the Capitals, who lead the league in goals with 96.

"This isn't just an accident. We're moving the puck pretty well and being creative," said Murray. "It's something we talked about in the preseason when all the writers were saying we couldn't score goals."

Pittsburgh defenseman Paul Coffey was a little more blunt than Murray.

"All I know is they've beat our butts twice this season," said Coffey. "People are always saying the Capitals have a great team but they couldn't score goals. Now they are scoring goals and are a team to be reckoned with."

For the second straight time, Washington shut out Mario Lemieux, who has scored at least one point in the other 14 games he has played this season.

Pittsburgh coach Scotty Bowman said he saw some magic out there for Washington, which got two redirected goals by Todd Krygier.

"They're on a real roll," said Bowman. "Most of the times they touched the puck, it went in."

Krygier had a lot of help from Michal Pivonka and Mike Ridley, who each contributed one goal and three assists for the home team, which had put the game on ice by the end of the second period with a 6-2 lead.

Kelly Miller and Dmitri Khristich also had goals for Washington.

Even Dino Ciccarelli got into the overall team act. He passed up a high-percentage shot in front of the net to give the puck up to Pivonka on the right side for an easy goal.

"I thought Dino would take the shot," said Pivonka. "He's a goal scorer and had a great chance. Normally he would take a shot like that."

Murray liked the display of team unity, saying: "Everyone played well. Pivonka had an excellent game. He did everything you want to see."

Pittsburgh.. .. 1... 1... 0 -- 2

Washington.. .. 2... 4... 0 -- 6

First period--1, Washington, Miller 1 (Ridley, Iafrate), 11:10. 2, Pittsburgh, Francis 1 (Coffey, Barrasso), 18:46 (sh). 3, Washington, Ridley 9 (Iafrate, Pivonka), 19:40 (pp). Penalties--Hatcher, Was (interference), 2:01; Hatcher, Was (tripping), 5:27; Recchi, Pit (roughing), 7:46; Cote, Was (holding), 13:50; Recchi, Pit (holding), 17:24.

Second period--4, Washington, Khristich 13 (Pivonka), 5:13. 5, Washington, Pivonka 8 (Ciccarelli, Ridley), 8:31. 6, Washington, Krygier 5 (Pivonka, Miller), 10:26. 7, Pittsburgh, Stevens 12 (Jagr, Coffey), 13:27. 8, Washington, Krygier 6 (Iafrate, Ridley), 19:13. Penalties--Johansson, Was (holding), 2:32; Stevens, Pit (holding), 5:49; Lemieux, Pit (tripping), 6:30; Coffey, Pit (tripping), 15:29; Recchi, Pit, minor-misconduct (high-sticking), 18:34; Tippett, Was (high-sticking), 18:34.

Third period--None. Penalties--Trottier, Pit (high-sticking), 3:16; Iafrate, Was (holding), 3:16; May, Was (cross-checking), 4:36; Cote, Was (holding), 11:22; Caufield, Pit (roughing), 16:40; Errey, Pit (tripping), 17:02; Krygier, Was, double minor-misconduct-game misconduct (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:25.

Shots on goal--Pittsburgh 11-10-4--25. Washington 10-8-15--33. Power-play opportunities--Pittsburgh 0 of 7; Washington 1 of 7. Goalies--Pittsburgh, Barrasso, 5-7-3 (18 shots-12 saves), Young (0:00 third, 15-15). Washington, Beaupre, 4-1-0 (25-23). A--18,130. Referee--Paul Stewart. Linesmen--Gord Broseker, Leon Stickle.

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