Beaupre returns in 3-0 shutout Pivonka's 3 points support Caps' win

January 15, 1993|By Mike Tully | Mike Tully,Contributing Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The goal judge had a shaky night, turning on the red light by mistake early in the game. That was the only time the lamp glowed red behind Don Beaupre. With some fortunate bounces and lots of help from his penalty-killing teammates, Beaupre gave the Washington Capitals their first shutout of the season last night, a 3-0 decision over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Beaupre, making his first start since Jan. 1 due to a groin pull, made some mistakes but was sharp when he needed to be, as the Capitals atoned for Wednesday's sloppy outing in New York.

"Donnie did the job in the first period," said Michal Pivonka, who had a goal and two assists. "Donnie had a shutout. Any time you have a shutout, it means the goalie played well."

The Islanders had a pair of two-man advantages, one for 32 seconds and the other for a full two minutes. Beaupre made a key save in the first situation, and the penalty killers protected him in the second.

"[Islanders] Steve Thomas came in early and I gloved it clean," Beaupre said after notching his 13th career shutout. "I was fortunate I made some saves and got into the game early."

"Donnie Beaupre's performance was fantastic. He along with the penalty killers made the difference," Capitals coach Terry Murray said.

"I called on him a little early," Murray said. "We had a little talk this morning. He said he was ready to go, and he came up with a tremendous performance tonight."

One of Beaupre's biggest saves came as the Isles went on a five-on-three in the first period. He moved across the crease and stacked the pads against Thomas at the other post.

"I got a lot of confidence coming off that," he said. "I haven't had too many saves like that in practice."

In taking Game 2 of a four-game road stretch, the Caps pulled back to .500 -- 12-12-1 -- away from home. They have won their last four visits to Nassau Coliseum.

With 8:28 gone in the third period, Thomas had another chance when he found himself alone in front of Beaupre, but his shot went high.

Later, Beaupre was trapped out of position as the puck came in VTC front of an empty goal, but no Islander was there to convert. A minute later, Beaupre threw himself in front of a screened Tom Kurvers shot.

By then, it was too late for the Islanders, as Pivonka raised his totals to six goals and 12 assists over an eight-game scoring streak.

After surviving a strange first 28 minutes, the Caps scored three times in the second period. They broke the scoreless tie on an innocent-looking play at 8:33. Pivonka circled out of the right corner to the top of the circle, and fired through a screen to beat goalie Mark Fitzpatrick.

Eighty-seven seconds later, the Caps went down two men for the second time. Bobby Carpenter drew two minutes for hooking, and Alan May was called for roughing. The Caps allowed just one shot -- Jeff Norton's drive from the point that Beaupre saw and blocked.

Dimitri Khristich then gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead. Moving from the right boards, Khristich skated into the slot, from where he sent a backhander through Fitzpatrick's legs for his 14th goal. Peter Bondra and Pivonka got assists.

Al Iafrate made it 3-0 on a power play with 1:37 left in the middle period. Taking a pass from Pivonka, he took a long look and fired a 55-footer for his 15th goal.

A spectacular check absorbed by Todd Krygier ended a first period in which the Caps were outshot 15-4 and were lucky to escape with a scoreless tie.

Krygier was skating down the right side near the Islanders blue line when rookie Darius Kasparaitis sent him flying. Krygier remained on the ice for several moments with what appeared to be a left knee injury. But he put weight on it as he left, and returned for the second period.

Murray said he had no problem with the check. "I think the open-ice hit was a good one," he said.

Washington 0 3 0 -- 3

N.Y. Islanders 0 0 0 -- 0

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