LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals had to settle for a 3-3 tie with the Vancouver Canucks last night after Dimitri Khristich and Todd Krygier failed to score from point-blank range on shots in sudden-death overtime at the Capital Centre.
Khristich had a chance to win the game with 19 seconds left in overtime when he took a perfect pass in front of the net from Randy Burridge and tried to put the puck past goaltender Kirk McLean.
But McLean made the save to preserve a 3-3 tie in the matchup between the Patrick Division-leading Capitals and the Smythe Division-leading Canucks.
With 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in overtime, Krygier had almost an identical opportunity with 19 seconds left. But McLean also turned that shot back.
The tie left Washington with a 0-2-2 record in overtime games.
The overtime followed three fights with 1:10 left in regulation play, but no power play resulted from the action.
Vancouver tied the game at 3 at 15:29 of the third period on a goal by Jim Sandlak after the Capitals turned the puck over at their blue line.
Washington had gone ahead, 3-2, on a goal by left wing Dave Tippett at 9:31 of the third period. It was only the second goal of the season for Tippett.
John Druce and Al Iafrate also scored goals for Washington last night, and Jyrki Lumme and Tom Fergus scored for Vancouver.
Washington appeared to relax a little in the final minute of the second period and it was costly.
Fergus sent a wrist shot past goaltender Don Beaupre from the right circle with 28 seconds left in the period, tying the score at 2.
Shortly before the Fergus goal, Beaupre made an outstanding save of a shot by Trevor Linden to apparently get the Capitals out of the period with a 2-1 lead.
Also, Washington received an ovation from the crowd for killing off a Vancouver power play with 1:33 left in the period.
The Capitals had gone ahead, 2-1, at 9:07 of the second on a goal by Iafrate from the right circle off a sharp pass by Mike Ridley from the left circle.
Washington went on outshoot Vancouver, 16-9, in the second period but did no better than one goal.
The Capitals got out of the first period with a 1-1 tie despite facing three Vancouver power plays.
The Canucks capitalized on the first man-advantage opportunity, scoring at 3:21 on a Lumme shot off the left post from beyond the right circle for a 1-0 lead.
Washington came back to tie the game at 1 at 11:39 when Druce re-directed a shot by Michal Pivonka into the goal. It was the first goal by Druce since Dec. 14 and only his second in 14 games.
Pivonka made the play work when he skated freely across the blue line and took a shot from the left circle.
The Capitals killed the next two Vancouver power plays of the first period to salvage the tie.
Washington looked a little sloppy in the first 11 minutes of the period, having trouble handling the puck and passing.
But the home team regrouped a little over the final nine minutes and came out not only even on the scoreboard but even in shots at 5.