Islanders ice series in Game 6 with 5-3 victory over Capitals

April 29, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Washington Capitals added another unwanted chapter to their postseason playoff history last night, losing Game 6, 5-3, and thus the NHL Patrick Division semifinal series to the New York Islanders.

It was a game that started with hard hitting and degenerated into a street fight that left the Islanders heading into the division finals against Pittsburgh without their leading scorer, Pierre Turgeon, who suffered a separated shoulder and concussion after a check into the boards by Dale Hunter.

It was a game that left the Capitals with a lot of self doubts and a lot of questions about their futures.

"You'll have to ask management," said goalie Don Beaupre, when asked what changes he expects. "Last year, we played a lot of good hockey and lost the playoffs. This year, we didn't play very much good hockey."

Capitals president Dick Patrick was at the game.

"During the first two periods we were lacking intensity and offense," Patrick said. "It's a shortcoming. We need people a little more explosive. But you can't evaluate everything in one game.

"I have no problem with [coach] Terry Murray. We're not going to make decisions a half-hour after the game."

Murray stood unmoving, his back against the protective glass surrounding the bench, after time ran out. It had been a series he had believed the Capitals were capable of winning, if they played up to their abilities.

Obviously upset with the outcome, Murray did not go to the post-game news conference and would not come out of the coach's office to answer questions. The locker room also was closed.

"It hurts any time you lose a playoff series," said Hunter, who led the Capitals with seven goals, including the first one last night. "But you lose three games in overtime, you're not going to win a series."

It is the second time in two years that Washington has lost in the first round. Last year, the Capitals blew a 3-1 lead in games over Pittsburgh to disappoint their fans and themselves.

In this series, aside from holding a 1-0 lead after the first game, the Capitals were never in control. They lost three games in overtime, and twice blew 3-1 leads.

They could not get their scorers going. Michal Pivonka, Peter Bondra and Kevin Hatcher, who combined for 92 goals in the regular season, had none against the Islanders. Only Hunter, the team's ninth leading scorer in the regular season, contributed consistently.

Their NHL record-setting offensive defense produced in only two of the six games for a total of six goals. Al Iafrate had five of those.

Washington also never got a grip on the Islanders' attack.

Last night, Washington jumped to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Hunter. But then nothing else was heard from their offensive guns until the final five minutes of the game, when Todd Krygier and Iafrate scored.

In between the Islanders ran the show. Steve Thomas tied it at 15:46 of the first period. Then with 17:19 to go in the second, Brian Hogue scored short-handed for a 2-1 lead.

Brad Dalgarno's goal with 13.4 seconds left in the period put the Caps down 3-1, signaling the beginning of the end.

"They didn't do anything fancy," said Beaupre. "There was nothing magic out there. They dumped it in and chased it and we couldn't get anything going."

And, unlike Washington in recent games, when the Islanders found themselves with a 3-1 lead going into the third period, they kept attacking.

Travis Green scored with 10:02 to play and Turgeon with 8:31 left.

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