Capitals hold off Toronto Beaupre stars in net to preserve 4-3 victory

December 21, 1991|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Correspondent

LANDOVER -- This night belonged to goaltender Don Beaupre.

A hot Beaupre turned back most of the best shots the Toronto Maple Leafs took at him, enabling the National Hockey League-leading show to go on for the Washington Capitals last night with a 4-3 victory at the Capital Centre.

Beaupre consistently frustrated Toronto with one outstanding save after another to lead the Capitals on a night when four different players scored and seven others had assists.

Washington (24-10-1 for 49 points) got goals from Alan May, Randy Burridge, Peter Bondra and Michal Pivonka to hand the defeat to goaltender Grant Fuhr and the Maple Leafs.

Toronto countered with scores by Mike Foligno, Gary Leeman and Dave Ellett, but it wasn't enough to prevent Washington from sweeping the season series, 3-0.

Toronto cut the Washington lead to 3-2 at 4:45 of the third period when Leeman blasted a shot past Beaupre off a nice pass from Todd Gill.

Less than three minutes later, the two teams traded goals in a 41-second flurry that left the Capitals clinging to a 4-3 lead at 8 minutes of the third.

Pivonka scored to give Washington a 4-2 edge, but Toronto's Ellett answered right back with a goal.

Fuhr could no longer hold off the Capitals in the second period, as Burridge and Bondra scored to give the home team a 3-1 lead at the end of the period.

Burridge scored on a power play at 2:01 for a 2-1 advantage, sending a rebound of a wrist shot by Kevin Hatcher into the goal.

Washington continued to attack the Toronto net in the second period, resulting in a 3-1 edge at 9:28 when Bondra drilled in a shot from the left circle.

Bondra's shot squeezed through the pads of Fuhr for the goal.

The Burridge extra-man goal made Washington 1-for-4 on power plays through two periods. The Capitals killed all four Maple Leafs power plays in the first 40 minutes.

Washington held a 23-20 edge in shots after two periods.

Fuhr had 20 saves in two periods, and Beaupre had 19.

The first period featured a duel between goalkeepers Fuhr and ** Beaupre before Washington broke through with a goal at 17:21 by May.

May knocked in a rebound of his shot that had been stopped by Fuhr, giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead that was short-lived.

The Capitals' Dino Ciccarelli set up the goal by getting the puck to May near the right circle.

Forty-six seconds later, the Maple Leafs tied the game on Foligno's goal.

Foligno sent a shot from the slot that bounced off Mike Lalor's stick and went flying past Beaupre's right shoulder into the net.

The first 20 minutes then ended in the 1-1 tie when Ciccarelli had two straight shots in the final seconds saved by Fuhr.

Fuhr wound up with 13 saves in the first period, and Beaupre had 10 for the Capitals.

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