LANDOVER -- Steve Heinze scored two goals and assisted on one and Ray LaBlanc made 32 saves to lead the U.S. Olympic team to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals last night before 10,526 at the Capital Centre.
Heinze, property of the Boston Bruins, scored Team USA's first goal and the team's go-ahead goal and assisted on the final goal. LeBlanc, property of the Chicago Blackhawks, gave up two first-period goals, then shut the door.
"Washington is a very good NHL team, and that was a very big win for us," said Clark Donatelli, who played on the 1988 Olympic team and assisted on Team USA's second goal last night. "We played great defense. We have a good team, no superstars, just a bunch of guys who play well together. We need a solid effort in the Olympics."
The victory ended Team USA's pre-Olympic schedule. It was 4-14-3 against NHL opposition.
Guy Gosselin, Jim Johannson and Ted Donato also scored for the winners. Washington, without nine regulars who did not dress, got goals from Nick Kypreos, Ken Sabourin and Mike Lalor.
Kypreos, charging down the slot, took a pass from Jeff Greenlaw and beat LeBlanc from close range 51 seconds after the opening faceoff to give the Capitals an early lead.
Sabourin's slap shot from the left point at 16 minutes, 24 seconds after a faceoff in the left circle gave Washington a 2-0 lead.
Three goals in a 3:09 span at the beginning of the second period boosted Team USA into a 3-2 lead. Heinze scored a power-play goal at 26 seconds, cutting the Washington lead to 2-1; Gosselin tied the score at 2:25, and Heinze, with his second goal of the period, put the United States on top, 3-2.
The three goals were scored against Skipjacks goalie Jim Hrivnak, who started the game. Ollie Kolzig took over for Hrivnak midway through the second period.
NOTES: C Harry Mews, who was loaned by the Capitals to AHL New Haven, has been returned because the Nighthawks have too many centers. Mews has been assisgned to the Skipjacks. . . . D Greg Brown, who had been playing for AHL Rochester, and D Moe Mantha, who had been playing with NHL Winnipeg, have joined Team USA. Shawn McEachen, the team's leading scorer, signed a "multi-year contract" with Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. . . . D Al Iafrate was named the Capitals captain for last night's game, with D Calle Johansson and C Michal Pivonka as assistants. Kolzig and Hrivnak and RW John Purves, Greenlaw and Reggie Savage joined the Capitals for last night's game from the Skipjacks. G Don Beaupre, G Mike Liut, D Rod Langway, D Kevin Hatcher, LW Randy Burridge, LW Kelly Miller, C Dale Hunter, C Mike Ridley and RW Dino Ciccarelli did not dress for the Capitals.