Power surge sparks Capitals to 3-1 win

February 19, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- Washington Capitals coach Jim Schoenfeld had some choice words for his players when they were trailing, 1-0, at the end of the first period last night. The players took his fiery words to heart and dominated the New York Islanders the rest of the evening for a 3-1 victory before a sell-out crowd of 18,130 at the USAir Arena.

"He [Schoenfeld] let us have it after the first period," said Randy Burridge who produced the first of three power-play goals for Washington last night.

The Capitals had entered the game with one goal in their past 26 power-play chances.

Mike Ridley said the solution to the power-play woes was simple.

"We just shot more," he said. "We had been been waiting for the pretty play on our power plays and weren't getting them. In this game, we just sent more people to the net for shots."

Dimitri Khristich came through with the second power-play goal for Washington, his 25th goal of the season, giving the Capitals a 2-1 lead 10:19 into the second period and that proved to be enough for the win.

But Al Iafrate added a spectacular goal for the Capitals at 7:46 of the third period. Iafrate sent a blistering shot from the left point that soared past Islanders' goaltender Jamie McLennan before he could react.

McLennan had a decent game but he was no match for Rick Tabaracci, who had 24 saves for Washington.

However, Schoenfeld's outburst and the end of the power-play blues were the big news for the Capitals.

Schoenfeld, who has directed Washington to an 8-2-1 record since replacing Terry Murray Jan. 27, is making his presence felt with his penchant for emotional talks.

"I mentioned it [how badly the team was playing]," said Schoenfeld when asked about his talk. "Sometimes that's all it takes."

The coach said his players seemed to be nervous, overskating and losing a lot of one-on-one battles in the first period.

And what was the difference on the power play?

"Nothing major," said Schoenfeld. "We flip-flopped our passes on the points and Mike Ridley did a good job of getting in the goalie's face and screening him."

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