Beaupre shuts out Lightning

March 21, 1994|By Tim Hipps | Tim Hipps,Special to The Sun

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Don Beaupre recorded 23 saves yesterday to lead the Washington Capitals over the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0, on slushy ice at Orlando Arena.

"Beaupre did a real good job of making the initial save, which was crucial," Capitals coach Jim Schoenfeld said.

"He also did a real good job of moving the rebound to safety or else smothering it. That's the sign of a strong goaltending effort."

Beaupre, who posted his 15th career shutout, was quick to share the glory. "I think our team just played real well defensively today," said Beaupre, who withstood seven Tampa Bay power plays.

"It was a really close game all the way through, but we did a good job of killing off all our penalties."

Washington was penalized 18 times for a total of 76 minutes. Tampa Bay, which ranks last in the league in power-play goal percentage (14.4), had 17 penalties for 72 minutes.

"It was a good effort today by everybody," Schoenfeld said. "This was not an easy game to play. The ice conditions were not good. It was an added effort just to skate. We did a lot of things right, and Don made the big saves when he had to.

"We focused a lot more on play in front of our net -- we wanted to be real strong there. We wanted to make a strong commitment to a strong defensive game. Frankly, we've deviated from that focus a little bit lately."

Beaupre, who helped the Capitals move above .500 on the road with a 19-18-0 mark, also made a few nifty saves. In the 14th minute of the first period, Beaupre (21-14-6) made a diving glove save, had a big stick stop and got lucky when Tampa Bay's Adam Creighton fired high from point-blank range.

"I had a little luck on a few of their chances," said Beaupre, who gave up three goals on seven shots before being replaced in a 6-2 loss at Dallas on Friday night.

"Things have really being coming my way lately, so that was nice to see. Having a two-goal cushion most of the way sure feels good when you're in goal."

Kelly Miller scored on a back-hander from the right side to give Washington a 1-0 lead at 3:13 of the first period. Miller's eighth goal came on assists by Sylvain Cote and Steve Konowalchuk.

Konowalchuk, Keith Jones and Dimitri Khristich each got two first-period shots at Tampa Bay goalie Daren Puppa for the Capitals, who outshot the Lightning, 12-7, in the first period and 32-23 in the game.

The Caps struck quickly in the second period on a power-play goal by Keith Jones, his 13th, with assists from Dale Hunter and Al Iafrate at 19:02. Calle Johansson closed the scoring with a slap shot from beyond the circle, making it 3-0 at 4:57 of the third period, off assists from Kevin Hatcher and Michal Pivonka.

The victory concluded Washington's season series against Tampa Bay with the Caps holding a 3-1-1 advantage. The Caps also lead the all-time series, 4-1-2.

The Capitals also concluded their three-game road trip and will play host to the Hartford Whalers tomorrow night at USAir Arena.

"We're working real hard, and we have a long way to go," Schoenfeld said of the Caps' 12 remaining regular-season games.

"It's going to be a dogfight right to the end. There are a lot of hungry teams, and we're certainly by no means out of the woods."

Washington 1 1 1 -- 3

Tampa Bay .0 0 0 -- 0

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