Ciccarelli's three goals lift Caps by Oilers, 6-3


LANDOVER -- Dino Ciccarelli had a 31st-birthday bash at the Capital Centre last night, and the crowd of 17,318 loved every minute of it.

With chants of "Dino . . . Dino" in the background, Ciccarellpartied with a hat trick to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers.

It was the second straight win at home for the Capitals, witCiccarelli playing a major role in both games that were witnessed by his mother and father, who are visiting from Sarnia, Ontario.

Tuesday night, Ciccarelli ignited a four-goal, third-period rallwith the 400th goal of his career, and Washington went on to a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Ciccarelli said his parents would be at the Capital Centre fobTC today's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"No, I'm not moving them down here," said Ciccarelli with smile. "That would be going too far. They've been here for about a week and a half now, and it's been a big boost."

Ciccarelli said his father has had an especially good time iWashington.

"My dad's been my biggest fan throughout my career," saiCiccarelli. "He was with me until I was 20 and he misses being around the game. He comes to all the practices when he's here and loves being around the guys. He watches all the games on a satellite dish in Canada."

Washington coach Terry Murray said: "It was Dino Ciccarelli'birthday party tonight, and it came at a good time. We never even talk about winning two in a row lately. We have enough to worry about one."

The Capitals, who moved within one point of the fourth-placNew Jersey Devils in the Patrick Division, skated aggressively from the start and moved the puck well.

But they squandered some early scoring chances beforbreaking the game open with three goals in a stretch of 3 minutes, 41 seconds for a 4-1 lead early in the second period.

Dimitri Khristich, Nick Kypreos and Ciccarelli scored the threconsecutive goals for the Capitals.

Ciccarelli had scored his first goal at 9:48 of the first period for 1-0 lead, and he completed the hat trick at 17:38 of the third period after the Oilers had scored two straight goals to reduce the Washington lead to 4-3.

Ciccarelli made it 5-3, and Dale Hunter scored with 11 secondleft to account for the final margin.

Murray said he felt the Capitals were gambling too much in thfirst period.

"Whenever you gamble like that, you're not showing respect foyour teammates. It was like, 'Let me get my points right now and not worry about anything else,' " said Murray.

Edmonton coach John Muckler said: "We had Washington otheir heels in the third period and then they got a couple of lucky bumps, put the puck in and that's that. The game is over."

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