Beaupre lifts Caps past Penguins, 5-3

April 18, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Washington Capitals came into the den of the Pittsburgh Penguins last night and walked out with a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

But there was no wild celebration in the Capitals' locker room. There were barely any smiles.

"I think it's very important not to celebrate too much right now," said team captain Kevin Hatcher. "This is just one game. We found out a couple years ago that the Penguins can make this a very long and very frustrating series."

Yet last night it was the Capitals who did most of the frustrating.

At the start, it was goalie Don Beaupre (27 saves) who set the tone, making five saves on Pittsburgh's first power play.

"We thrived off Donnie," said Capitals center Joe Juneau, who scored the winning goal. "On that first power play and on the second one, he was the guy. He kept us in it early and late."

The Capitals got goals from Dimitri Khristich, Mike Ridley, Peter Bondra -- who had a goal for the first time since March 12 -- Juneau and Michal Pivonka, who stretched the Washington lead to 5-3 with 34 seconds left after Mario Lemieux had scored 10 seconds earlier to bring the Penguins one goal behind.

Lemieux had two of the Penguins' goals and Joe Mullen had the other. But aside from those two scores, Lemieux was not heard from -- though he was seen twice, once with a choke hold on Keith Jones and again with an armlock on Dale Hunter's head.

"Maybe he was a little frustrated," said Jones. "A choke hold on me? He's a big guy, he takes up a lot of space. Maybe I was just in the way."

Game 2 is here at the Civic Arena tomorrow at 7:38 p.m.

Washington carried a 3-2 lead into the third period and then stretched it to 4-2. Juneau picked up a puck along the boards in the Penguins' zone, skated in on goalie Tom Barrasso, did a double fake and then easily beat him to his left side with 9:26 to play.

"This wasn't exactly the type of game we wanted to play," Juneau said. "We want to go hard at them and keep the third man high. They live off the other team's mistakes and we made a few that cost us."

The Capitals didn't make any mistakes in a conservative second period that saw them rally for a 3-2 lead, but the period opened badly for them. Defenseman Sylvain Cote dropped to his knees after being hit in the head by the high stick of Peter Taglianetti with 2:02 gone.

Cote left the ice and did not return. The Capitals said they would update his condition today.

Washington tied the game with 11:07 gone, when Juneau got the puck to Bondra along the boards. Bondra held off Taglianetti with his left arm, swept around in front of the net and put the puck through Taglianetti's legs and Barrasso's knees.

Ridley broke the 2-2 tie with 6:31 to play, after Kelly Miller won the faceoff in Pittsburgh's end. Hatcher made the pass to Ridley in the slot, who took the puck and in one motion whirled and fired a shot past a surprised Barrasso.

With the lead, Beaupre was brilliant. He stopped 27 of 30 shots, including eight of nine in the third that were one-on-one and point blank.

"This was a pretty solid effort," said Beaupre. "But there is no doubt we expect a harder game [tomorrow]. We also expect a lot more from ourselves."

NOTES: The Capitals, carrying a 27-man roster -- the largest playoff roster in their history -- scratched G Rick Tabaracci, RW Tim Bergland, RW Pat Peake, LW Todd Krygier, C Jason Allison and D Shawn Anderson. . . . D Jim Johnson (knee ligaments) skated yesterday but isn't likely to be ready until the second round. . . . Coach Jim Schoenfeld said Tabaracci would not go into the lineup until he was mentally ready to play. "When Rick is right he can win a game for us single-handedly," said Schoenfeld. "When we feel he's back to that point, he'll go in."

Washington 1 2 2 -- 5

Pittsburgh 2 0 1 -- 3

First period--1, Washington, Khristich 1 (Hunter, Bondra), 4:49. 2, Pittsburgh, Lemieux 1 (Tocchet, Murphy), 12:10. 3, Pittsburgh, Mullen 1 (Jagr, G.Brown), 14:14. Penalties--Juneau, Was (tripping), 2:09; Jones, Was (tripping), 6:41; Francis, Pit (hooking), 16:06; Hunter, Was (roughing), 19:43; Taglianetti, Pit (roughing), 19:43.

Second period--4, Washington, Bondra 1 (Juneau, Burridge), 11:07. 5, Washington, Ridley, 1 (Hatcher, Miller), 13:29. Penalties--Stevens, Pit (holding the stick), 4:38; Reekie, Was (high-sticking), 8:15; Hatcher, Was (high-sticking), 10:08; G.Brown, Pit (tripping), 10:08; Straka, Pit (holding the stick), 18:35.

Third period--6, Washington, Juneau 1, 10:34. 7, Pittsburgh, Lemieux 2 (Murphy, Jagr), 19:16. 8, Washington, Pivonka 1, 19:26. Penalties--Johansson, Was (holding), 6:03; Khristich, Was (roughing), 13:15; K.Samuelsson, Pit (roughing), 13:15; Francis, Pit (hooking), 14:45; Tocchet, Pit, minor-misconduct (roughing), 18:58; Hatcher, Was (hooking), 19:11.

Shots on goal--Washington 12-10-9--31. Pittsburgh 15-6-9--30. Power-play opportunities--Washington 0 of 5; Pittsburgh 0 of 4. Goalies--Washington, Beaupre, 1-0 (30 shots-37 saves). Pittsburgh, Barrasso, 0-1 (30-26). A--16,051. Referee--Dan Marouelli. Linesmen--Ron Asselstine, Ray Scapinello.

CAPS vs. PENGUINS

EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS (Best of seven; Caps lead, 1-0) Results Last night: Caps 5, Penguins 3

Schedule Date .. .Time .. Site

Tomorrow 7:38 Pittsburgh

Thursday 7:38 Washington

Saturday 7:38 Washington

April 25* 7:38 Pittsburgh

April 27* 7:38 Washington

April 29* 7:38 Pittsburgh

* - If necessary

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