Sharks KO punchless Caps, 2-1 San Jose win is 1st over Washington

November 17, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The San Jose Sharks, who had never beaten Washington in their three-year history, came away with a 2-1 victory at USAir Arena last night, giving the Capitals' offense another jolt.

It was a power-play goal by Rob Gaudreau in the second period that made the difference here, as 10,304 fans watched the game played without incident with substitute officials.

After the Capitals were shut out, 2-0, Saturday night by the New York Rangers, Washington general manager David Poile lamented his team's inability to get the first goal.

Last night, Washington got the first goal, a put-back by Todd Krygier with 1:23 gone in the second period, but that was all the Caps would get.

San Jose rallied for goals by Igor Larionov and Gaudreau with 2:12 and 3:47 gone, respectively. With Sharks goalie Arturs Irbe stopping 17 Capitals shots -- six in the final period -- that's all they needed.

"Our goals-against average is terrific," said Poile, whose team has not allowed more than two in each of its past seven games. "The missing ingredient is that we're not explosive enough offensively."

The shutout Saturday was cause for concern, even though it came against the Rangers, whom Poile described as "a team to aspire to."

The lack of offense became more critical last night, as the Capitals managed just one goal against the Sharks, a 6-11-4 team.

"The frustrating thing," said Capitals goalie Rick Tabaracci, who has taken both these losses, "is that we played so well against the Rangers that that game could have gone either way. Then we come into this game, and our level was down to theirs. If we had played this game the way we played against New York, we would have won 8-0."

Tabaracci said this loss should sound a warning to the Capitals, who travel to Pittsburgh and Florida over the next four days.

"Pittsburgh is without Mario Lemieux, so they'll be trying very hard and we have two expansion teams in our division -- Miami being one of them -- and both of them are better than the team we lost to here."

The Sharks have the third-worst penalty-killing unit in the league, but that did not help Washington, which went 0-for-4 with the extra man.

"There is no sense naming names," Poile said. "The suspects are still the same. We still have several forwards who need to be more productive. It's an old story."

But given the Capitals have now scored one goal in six periods, it is becoming more relevant all the time.

Capitals coach Terry Murray shifted struggling center Michal Pivonka (one goal in 18 games) to right wing on the fourth line and inserted rookie Pat Peake in Pivonka's former center position.

"Pivonka has never been in that position very much and I didn't use him often," Murray said. "I'm going to give Peake an extended opportunity to do his thing. He had a couple good chances tonight and I'm going to stick with him for a while.

"Scoring is a real problem for us. It is a matter of some individuals getting the job done. We simply have to shoot more and get to the net more."

NOTES: The Sharks are having the best road trip in their three-year history. Until this week, they had never beaten an Atlantic (former Patrick) Division team on the road. And they also had never scored a point against Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers or Washington -- home or away. But in the past four days they've gotten that elusive Atlantic Division road win (vs. New Jersey) and scored points in a tie with the Rangers and this win over Washington. Earlier this month, the Sharks also got their first point against former Patrick rival Pittsburgh. . . . The Capitals' search for a radio outlet in the Baltimore area could be nearing an end. The Caps and radio station WITH (1230 AM) in Baltimore could reach an agreement on a broadcast package by this week, a source said last night. . . . Tabaracci, whose seven-game 1.99 GAA leads the league, started for the third straight game last night. . . . D Brian Curran was scratched from the lineup, opening a spot for Keith Konowalchuk.

San Jose ..0 2 0 -- 2

Washington 0 1 0 -- 1

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