Last-minute goal lifts Leafs past Capitals, 2-1

January 12, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs dueled to the finish last night. Each looked for a hero, and with 49.5 seconds left, Toronto found one.

Doug Gilmour got his stick on the bouncing puck in front of thCapitals net and somehow wedged it past goalie Don Beaupre for a 2-1 victory.

The loss ends Washington's two-game winning streak and ithome-ice unbeaten streak at five games.

The Capitals had their chances early and late in the final period.

Left wing Kelly Miller just missed getting his stick on the puck foa put-back at 10:14. Dimitri Khristich stole the puck and drove on Toronto goalie Felix Potvin at 8:56, only to miss the net.

And with the final seconds ticking off, Peter Bondra made mighty try and was denied at point-blank range.

It kept the USAir Arena crowd of 12,654 on the edge of theiseats.

The Capitals have two days to prepare for a rematch with thNew Jersey Devils here Friday.

The loss negated a lot of fine defensive plays by WashingtonToronto's Glenn Anderson was stopped on the power play at 6:37, when Caps defenseman Sylvain Cote caught up to him on a breakaway and refused to let him get off a shot.

Maple Leaf Rob Pearson had a terrific shot at 4:30, but Beauprewho made 19 saves, stood up to it.

It was only when in the last minute, when the puck got loosdeep in the Washington zone, that Toronto was able to make the most of an opportunity.

Kent Manderville brought the puck around to the front of the netand no one could seem to get a stick on the puck, until Gilmour, almost by magic, put it in the net.

The Capitals broke the scoreless tie in the second period while playing four-on-four.

At 11:06, Khristich played the puck to Michal Pivonka behind the Toronto net, and Pivonka found defenseman Calle Johansson all alone in the red circle.

Johansson took Washington's 10th shot of the period, and thCaps had the 1-0 lead.

It had been a battle to get the lead. In the first period, it had beea battle just to get a shot.

Washington got one, tying the team's all-time low.

But the lead didn't last long, and it was almost embarrassing thway the Caps were tied.

Washington was on the power play when Mike Ridley tried pass that was picked off by Gilmour, who sent it to Bob Rouse.

Rouse then skated in on Washington goalie Don Beaupre, and nearly undressed him as he bowled him over and sent the puck across the front of the net, where it found Dave Andreychuk's stick for the put-back, the short-hander and the 1-1 tie with 6:43 on the clock.

The power play was not the highlight for either team last nightas each was 0-for-4 by the end of the middle period.

Caps coach Terry Murray rewarded Pivonka, Bondra and KellMiller for their play in Sunday's 4-0 victory over New Jersey by sending them out as the starting line last night.

But while the Capitals were able to forge a 2-0 lead against thDevils in the first period in New Jersey Sunday, they weren't able to get two shots in the first period last night.

After defenseman Al Iafrate got off a shot in the first minute oplay, the Capitals didn't get another until 1:30 had elapsed in the second.

Then it was Craig Berube and Dave Poulin on a two-on-one breathat ended with Potvin's saving a shot by Berube.

When Washington completed the first period with one shot, it ZTC was the first time this season that the Caps had fewer than three in any period, and the seventh time in their 20-year history that the team has matched its all time low.

Washington worked hard on defense in the first 20 minuteswhich meant Toronto didn't get many shots, either.

NOTES: The Washington Capitals Alumni will play a benefit hockey game against the DeMatha High School Stags Jan. 28, 6 p.m. at the Bowie Ice Rink. Proceeds will assist Tim Strachen, the DeMatha quarterback who suffered a spinal-cord injury last summer. A $5 donation is requested. A bake sale and raffle will be held during the game to raise additional funds. . . . Capitals C Mike Ridley, who took a puck in his left instep, played without problem.

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