As Carey goes, so go Caps to fourth straight win

March 08, 1995|By John Trainer | John Trainer,Special to The Sun

BOSTON -- At this rate, Washington Capitals goalie Jim Carey will be seeking his own $7 million deal before long.

In his best performance, Carey stopped 36 shots to lift Washington to a 3-1 victory over Boston last night at Carey's home rink, the venerable Boston Garden.

It was the Capitals' fourth straight victory and the fourth since Carey joined the club last week.

Kelly Miller, Keith Jones and Calle Johansson scored for the Capitals and Ray Bourque for the Bruins. But Carey was the star of the show.

"I mean, what do you say?" coach Jim Schoenfeld said. "When you're stopping Bourque point-blank, [Cam] Neely point-blank, you're stopping some of the best shooters in the league."

"It's been a good start," Carey said. "You have to make the most of your opportunities. That's the way it works in this league.

Washington carried a 2-1 lead into the final period, but iced the victory when Michal Pivonka and Johansson got behind the Boston defense with 7:20 to play. With just one man to beat, Pivonka slid the puck to Johansson, who beat Boston's own hot rookie goalie, Blaine Lacher (26 saves), for the insurance goal.

Until then, the game had been a fierce end-to-end affair, with each team alternately controlling the tempo and generating chances to score.

The showstopper, though, was an extended five-on-five melee at 7:38 of the second period, which stopped the game for 15 minutes and landed three Capitals (Joe Reekie, Kevin Kaminski and Jeff Nelson) in the penalty box along with three Bruins. When the ice was cleared of gloves, sticks, helmets and Kaminski's jersey (helped off by Brent Hughes), Boston had a five-on-three advantage for two minutes, because Washington was hit with four minors to Boston's two. But Carey made two big saves to hold the lead.

"That five-on-three was critical," Schoenfeld said. "For a power play like Boston has, that's really something. They only got two good shots on goal. For us, that might have been the turning point of the game."

Overall, the Capitals killed six Boston power plays, running their streak to 23 successful kills.

"I feel good out there," Carey said. "It's always nerve-wracking to come back to your home town, but I was comfortable."

The Capitals made it 2-1 on a lucky bounce 1:59 into the second period. Lacher left his net to stop a routine dump pass from careening around the boards but watched in horror as the puck bounced off the boards and directly in front of the unguarded goal. Keith Jones knocked in the gift for the lead.

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