Caps storm Senators' net for 6-1 win Bondra has hat trick, Jones, Pivonka 10 points

January 12, 1996|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- The Ottawa Senators didn't know what they were flying into. They knew about the near-30 inches of snow engulfing the area. They knew about the reports that another snowstorm was on its way.

What they didn't count on was being snowed under by newly named All-Star Peter Bondra and his line mates Michal Pivonka and Keith Jones, who produced 15 points to beat the Ottawa Senators, 6-1, before a sparse crowd at USAir Arena.

Bondra came on like an avalanche, producing a hat trick and two assists to tie his career high for points in one game. Pivonka and Jones could have been flagged for piling on. Pivonka produced a career-high six points with two goals and four assists and Jones' goal and three assists also was a career high.

"It's one of those nights when they have magnets on their blades," said Joe Juneau, who assisted on Bondra's second goal to give the line 16 points in all.

While Bondra's line was all over former Washington goalie Don Beaupre (20 saves), Washington goalie Jim Carey was allowing just Tom Chorske's goal on 24 shots.

"They go to the net; they shoot the puck," said Beaupre, who was 128-98-7 with the Caps before being traded to the Senators, where he is 14-47-3. "They work hard and goals are going to come for them. That's what happened tonight."

The victory was Washington's 20th of the season and increased its all-time record against Ottawa to 9-1-2.

The Capitals will try to keep blistering the net tomorrow night and stretch their home unbeaten streak to nine when they face the Western Division-leading Detroit Red Wings here at 7:30.

"Being named to the All-Star team pumped me up," said Bondra, who will be making his second such appearance. "I showed on the ice how happy I am. And scoring a hat trick is a great feeling. The last couple of games, we got nothing. I think I wasn't playing as well as before. But this was a game to get back our confidence."

Bondra pulled Washington into a first-period tie at 12:42 with his 22nd goal. Then he assisted on both of Pivonka's goals. The first was on a power play with 4:29 gone in the middle period, when Bondra made a beautiful cross-ice pass from near the blue line to Pivonka waiting wide-open at the far side of the crease.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," said Pivonka, who took his career high in stride. "There are a few games a year when everything you touch goes in for you and your line mates.

"I think for Peter, being named to the All-Stars was a boost. I knew he'd be ready tonight and me and Jonesy just jumped on the same boat and enjoyed the ride."

Bondra was giving Pivonka a lot more credit.

"Maybe without him, I don't score at all," Bondra said. "He's the perfect setup man."

Pivonka's second goal came when Bondra left a drop pass for the center, while Jones ran interference, screening Beaupre.

Washington's fourth goal arrived when two Ottawa defensemen chose to go toward Juneau, who played occasionally with Pivonka and Bondra last night. Juneau had gotten the puck from Pivonka and, as the defense collapsed toward him, he sent the puck to the hustling Bondra, who stretched for the puck and then slid it under Beaupre's outstretched arm at 6:27.

"It's just hockey," said coach Jim Schoenfeld. "Some nights it comes easier than others. It was great for that line. They'd been struggling and I issued a little challenge to them in practice. They responded. Now we have to use this as a steppingstone to consistency."

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