Islanders edge Capitals, 3-2 Washington's woes in Patrick continue

April 07, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals must feel very used by now. Every Patrick Division team the Capitals face manhandles them for a victory.

Sunday it was the lowly New York Rangers, who arrived with a four-game losing streak and pummeled Washington, 4-0.

Last night, it was the New York Islanders, who extended their Capital Centre dominance to 3-0 this season after last night's 3-2 victory.

The win forged a third-place tie with the New Jersey Devils, which means there are now two teams chasing Washington for second place.

The question facing the Capitals is will Philadelphia, the Patrick's cellar-dweller, continue the trend tomorrow night at The Spectrum.

"The bottom line is winning," said Washington coach Terry Murray. "When we were playing five-on-five, we got scrambly. Our defensive coverage was too far away and our offensive execution wasn't there to take advantage of the scoring chances when they were there.

"You're only going to get a few of those in each game and we didn't score when we had them."

Islanders goalie Glenn Healy made 35 saves last night to capture his 22nd win of the season.

Washington has been sitting pretty for days now, in second place with a five-point lead over New Jersey. But the Capitals haven't even breathed hard when it comes to increasing their advantage.

"Last year we had the best record against division opponents in the league, and then we lost in the first round of the playoffs," said Washington's Kelly Miller. "Maybe this time we plan to do our winning in the postseason."

Washington hasn't beaten a Patrick Division team since it managed a 5-2 win against these Islanders on March 25. In fact, the Islanders, whom Washington has beaten three times, are the only Patrick Division team the Capitals have beaten since New Year's Day, when they buried New Jersey, 9-2.

"I don't know why we can't beat the teams in our division," said Capitals center Michal Pivonka. "We seem always to score two goals against Patrick Division teams and two goals is not going to be enough.

"All the time, they get ahead and then they shut us down. We have to try to go through three and four guys on the blue line. What we have to do is not let them have the lead."

But with 11:47 left in the second period, Islanders center Ray Ferraro was left open to scoop up a rebound and loft it high into the corner of the net to give New York a 3-2 lead.

That goal followed one earlier in the period, when New York's Pierre Turgeon scored his second goal of the evening and his 53rd of the season to tie the game at 2.

For Ferraro, it was his his 11th goal in a trying season, in which he missed 36 games from Dec. 10 through March 9 with a fractured leg.

Washington, which had played well on the power play in the first period, scoring on two of three opportunities, had only one such chance in the second and could get nothing. One reason appeared to be that Washington again stopped shooting while looking for the perfect shot.

The Capitals' two power-play goals in the first period produced a 2-1 lead with 11:58 to play in the period.

zTC Capitals center Dale Hunter got the first one with the help of

assists from Pivonka and Calle Johansson with 2:03 gone in the game.

No one knew it, but it was just a warmup for Johansson.

The Washington defenseman had not had a goal since Nov. 30 in Detroit. But last night he broke the 45-game goal-less string with a slap shot from near the blue line.

The goal reclaimed the lead for Washington, which had been tied, 1-1, on Turgeon's first goal with 3:09 gone.

NOTES: Capitals right wing Pat Elynuik will see his contract go to arbitration Fri

day. Elynuik arrived here in an Oct. 1 trade that sent John Druce to Winnipeg. He currently has a one-year contract paying him $240,000.

Paul MacDermid joined Reggie Savage on the sidelines last night as Murray's two scratches. That meant Bobby Carpenter got to play for only the second time in nine games. . . . Among the Islanders' cuts was left wing Derek King, who is tied with Benoit Hogue for third on the team in scoring. King got the night off for the first time since breaking his finger eight days ago against Philadelphia.

N.Y. Islanders 1 2 0 -- 3

Washington .. .2 0 0 -- 2

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