Beaupre's rejuvenated game helps set Capitals straight

March 04, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

The hard, worry lines that had creased Don Beaupre's face during the early part of this season are gone. He will start in goal for the Washington Capitals for the fifth straight game tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers and he will start knowing his coach is more than happy with his play.

"I think Donnie is playing the finest hockey of his career," said Washington coach Jim Schoenfeld.

Beaupre has been working hard at improving his play since he saw the goaltending stats four games into the season. He was 0-3, with a 7.85 goals-against average. It made him sick. And he felt worse as the Capitals struggled through an 0-6 start.

Slowly, the goals-against average declined and since Schoenfeld took over, Beaupre has gone 8-2-2 with a 2.27 gaa. Overall, he is 19-11-4 witha 2.79 mark.

When goalie Rick Tabaracci went down with a sprained knee Feb. 20, Beaupre was more than ready to step in. Because of that, Schoenfeld is not rushing Tabaracci back.

"It's very important to get that knee right or it's going to bother him through the rest of the season," Schoenfeld said.

Beaupre no longer is driving himself crazy, the way he did early on, trying to figure out when he would play and how he would play when given the chance.

"I got through that and it was a real boost to myself that I was able to play consistently better no matter when I played," he said. "Now, I'm glad Schoenfeld is happy with the way I'm playing, but there is always something you're personally not happy with. I look at the last game. We stumbled and the game got away from us. I want to be the kind of goalie, that when the team has trouble, I can I get us over the hump. I'm looking for more out of myself."

CAPITALS TONIGHT

Opponent: Philadelphia Flyers

Site: USAir Arena, Landover

Time: 8:05

TV: HTS

Radio: WITH (1230 AM), WMAL (630 AM)

Tickets: 1,200 available

Outlook: The Capitals were scolded by coach Jim Schoenfeld after their 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. The Flyers have dropped their past three and are six points behind Washington in the Eastern Conference. Flyers D Jason Bowen (separated left shoulder), LW Brent Fedyk (sprained left wrist) and D Stewart Malgunas (sprained medial collateral ligament) are day-to-day and C Pelle Eklund (hernia) is out. Capitals D Jason Woolley (torn abdominal muscle), C Dave Poulin (asthma), RW Pat Peake (bruised ribs), and G Rick Tabaracci (sprained knee) are out.

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