Oilers play Caps to 2-2 OT tie

February 16, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- There were no tears shed in the Washington Capitals' locker room last night.

None of the streaking Capitals or coach Jim Schoenfeld thought the team had taken any steps backward in battling to a 2-2 draw with the lowly Edmonton Oilers before 12,619 at the USAir Arena.

"I'm not upset with the way we played," said Schoenfeld. "We don't have to change anything. We were all over them in the third period. We persevered and threw everything at them but we just ran up against a hot goaltender."

That goaltender was Bill Ranford, who came up with 41 saves to prevent Washington (27-25-5) from running away from the Oilers (15-36-9).

"Ranford had a sensational night," said Schoenfeld. "We deserved success tonight but I'll take the tie. This one point might mean a lot at the end of the season."

It looked from the start as if Ranford might be in for a long evening against the Capitals, who had won four straight and seven of their past eight.

Washington unleashed five shots on Ranford in less than four minutes before Dale Hunter bulled his way through three Edmonton players to score for a 1-0 lead at 4:25 of the first period.

The Capitals would go on to outshoot the Oilers, 43-17, and have six power plays the rest of the night, including a 5-on-3 in the first period.

But all they could muster was an all-even goal by Kelly Miller at 18:57 of the first period for a 2-1 lead.

Miller scored from the right crease off a nifty pass from Todd Krygier.

That proved to be the end of the fun for Washington.

Frustration took over as first Edmonton tied the game at 2 on a Shayne Corson power-play goal, the second man advantage score for the Oilers last night, and then the Capitals couldn't get the puck past Ranford.

"We have nothing to be ashamed of," said Krygier. "As long as we're not losing, we still have momentum. We still see this thing [rejuvenation] snowballing."

Washington goalkeeper Don Beaupre only faced 17 shots and made 15 saves. He stood around for long periods of time and watched his teammates pummel the puck at Ranford without success.

"That's what happens when you go against a hot goalkeeper like Ranford," said Beaupre.

Schoenfeld said it was a tough evening for Beaupre because he was inactive so much during the game and then faced a Edmonton power play with 2:03 left in overtime.

"The game was on the line and Donnie did a good job of hanging in there," said Schoenfeld.

Miller had two opportunities for Washington in the final minute of regulation to win the game.

First he couldn't quite get to Krygier's pass as he broke clear in front of the net and then he couldn't get the puck past Ranford on a one-on-one play.

In overtime, it was mostly all Edmonton with Kelly Buchberger and Brent Grieve getting off good shots that were saved by Beaupre.

The Capitals went without leading scorer Mike Ridley (18-32-50) down the stretch.

Schoenfeld said: "Mike just didn't have the jump he usually has."

Frustration started to set in for the Capitals in the second period when they continued to dominate play but couldn't score against Ranford, who had 25 saves in the first two periods.

Ranford and the Oilers killed three more Washington power plays in the second period.

The Oilers' Corson tied the score when he tapped in the puck when it bounced right to him after Beaupre had saved a Beers shot.

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