Beaupre, Reekie step up for Capitals

April 22, 1994|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals used a sparkling goaltending performance by Don Beaupre and a surprising two-goal contribution from defenseman Joe Reekie to shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-0, in Game 3 last night of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

The victory gives the Capitals a two-games-to-one lead in the series that returns to USAir Arena tomorrow night. Game 4 already is sold out.

"For me, it's exciting," said Reekie, who scored the winning, short-handed goal with 14:11 gone in the second period. "When that puck went in, I was in awe."

It was Reekie's first career playoff goal and his first goal as a Capital since joining the team March 21 from Tampa Bay.

He scored the second goal into an empty net with 15.6 seconds to play.

"Every goal is a bonus for me," he said. "But I can't lose sight of my job, which is to protect our end."

Beaupre, who won Game 1, 5-3, in Pittsburgh, also was protecting the Caps' end, as he stopped all 27 Penguins shots.

"I don't think any one save I made was tougher than any other," said Beaupre, who claimed his third career postseason shutout. "But I think probably the biggest play was by Dave Poulin on Mario Lemieux late in the third. The puck was free and Mario got to it. Dave caught up and took him out. To me, that was the key to the whole game."

After this victory, the Capitals were again reserved in their

pleasure. Washington is a team that has been up against the Penguins in a series before -- up 3-1 in 1992, in fact, only to lose, 4-3.

"It's big, it's big," said Kelly Miller, who started Reekie's 3-on-1 break. "But it's only one game. Just another win. What we have to do is sustain it."

Poulin, who found himself covering Lemieux on nearly every one of Lemieux's shifts because of the absence of center Dale Hunter, needed a half-hour massage after the game to rejuvenate his body.

"It's just that he's been covered like this his whole life," said Poulin, who held Lemieux to three shots. "Mario knows how to get away from it. On that late play in the third, that Donnie was talking about, I was between him and the goal. I had my body in front of him, but his arms are so strong and his reach is so long, I decided the best thing I could do was go down and cover the puck and that's what I did."

The victory was even more impressive in that the Caps were playing without the injured Hunter and Sylvain Cote, who has anchored Washington's defense all season.

In the Caps' postseason philosophy, the absence of players such as Hunter and Cote has meant opportunities for players like Reekie, who got out on the 3-on-2 break with Poulin and Miller to set up the winning goal.

The play started with 5:49 left in the period. Poulin passed to Reekie and broke toward the net. Reekie continued his rush and slapped the puck toward the net, looking for Poulin. Instead the puck streaked past goalie Tom Barrasso's right shoulder for a 1-0 lead.

"It was just moving and it's like a knuckleball," Barrasso said. "It's floating around. You try to keep your eye on it, get something in front of it. But it's moving a little bit, drifting on you. It hit the cup of my glove and went in. But we didn't score a goal so we can't expect to win."

After the goal, the Penguins appeared in disarray. They were called for having too many men on the ice and then for a high stick, giving the Caps a 57-second, 5-on-3 advantage.

But the Penguins survived without allowing a goal.

CAPS vs. PENGUINS

EASTERN CONFERENCE

QUARTERFINALS

(Caps lead series, 2-1)

Results

Sunday: Caps 5, Penguins 3

Tuesday: Penguins 2, Caps 1

Last night: Caps 2, Penguins 0

Schedule

Date ... ... Time ... ... Site

Tomorrow ... 7:38 ... ... Washington

Monday .. .. 7:38 ... ... Pittsburgh

Wed.* ... .. 7:38 ... ... Washington

April 29* .. 7:38 ... ... Pittsburgh

* - If necessary

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