Carey sets mark as Caps coast by Senators, 5-0 Goalie surpasses Beaupre with his 13th shutout

March 30, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- Jim Carey didn't want to gloat too much.

The Washington goaltender called last night's 5-0 victory over Ottawa a "team shutout" and said the Capitals prevented the Senators from getting many second shots, making it "easier for me."

But the fact remains that Carey climbed to lofty shutout heights by silencing the Senators before a festive sellout crowd of 18,130 at USAir Arena.

Carey is only 21 years old and has played in just 86 games over two seasons for the Caps, but he became their career shutout leader with his 13th, and league-leading ninth this season.

That is already more than Don Beaupre, who had 12 over six seasons and 269 games for Washington.

And even though No. 13 came against the NHL's worst team, it was a milestone for the youngster to remember.

"I guess it will be something for me to tell my grandchildren about," said Carey, who has two shutouts in his past three games. "The fact that we're in a playoff race seems to be driving the team and me. I don't want to be the one who costs the team the playoffs, so I stay up all the time."

The Caps' third straight win allowed Washington to move into sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of New Jersey, in its bid to solidify a playoff spot.

Carey said that Wednesday's 1-0 shutout of Montreal in overtime on the road was "tougher than this one, but it's never easy to get a shutout."

Carey's teammates continued to praise him, with Dale Hunter commenting: "He makes the big save for us. He's been doing it for us even when we were in that losing streak. He's just a real solid goaltender."

The attack also was solid last night, with the Caps scoring on two of their first four shots.

It took Hunter just 56 seconds to send a sizzling shot from the right circle past Ottawa goaltender Mike Bales for a 1-0 lead.

Then it was Kelly Miller knocking in a rebound of a Hunter shot for a 2-0 advantage 6: 10 into the first period.

After the second Capitals' goal, the lowly Senators (15-55-4) appeared to go through the motions the rest of the evening while the Washington fans were standing and chanting "defense . . . defense" in anticipation of Carey's fifth shutout in his past 12 starts.

Carey wound up with 24 saves and "really only had seven or eight tough chances," said Washington coach Jim Schoenfeld.

"Jimmy earned the shutout, but the team played great defense in front of him," said Schoenfeld. "He has a high level of focus to be able to make the big saves when he goes for a while like he did tonight without being tested. But he can also make the saves when they're pelting the shots at him."

When Schoenfeld was asked if some of the Capitals might become a little envious of all the attention Carey is getting, he said: "Jimmy realizes the team is playing well in front of him and the players realize it, too. So there's no problems. I don't think our players are in this for the glory. They just want to win hockey games."

Peter Bondra, Todd Krygier and Michal Pivonka scored the final three goals for the Capitals, who improved to 36-29-10.

Ottawa coach Jacques Martin said: "When you play the Capitals, they are on the puck. We haven't been scoring very much and I guess it's the wrong place to be when you run into a hot goaltender like Carey."

Pub Date: 3/30/96

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