Caps top Oilers, 5-3 unbeaten streak at 5 Washington ties N.J. in Patrick standings


EDMONTON, Alberta -- Nick Kypreos scored the game-winner early in the third period as the Washington Capitals beat the Edmonton Oilers, 5-3, last night to extend their unbeaten streak to five games.

The victory tied the Capitals with the New Jersey Devils for fourth place in the race for the final Patrick Division playoff spot. Both teams have 68 points, and Washington has a game in hand.

Kypreos scored the game-winner at 3 minutes, 17 seconds, and Dimitri Khristich added the insurance goal at 13:57.

Washington had fallen behind, 3-1, early in the second period before it scored four straight goals.

Craig MacTavish gave the Oilers a 3-1 lead at 5:44 of the second when Dave Brown sent him in alone from center ice. MacTavish, with his second goal of the night, beat Capitals goaltender Mike Liut with a low shot as he fell to the ice.

Tim Bergland scored his second of the night and fourth of the season at 7:23 of the second to bring Washington within one. He knocked a hard wrist shot past Oilers goalie Bill Ranford from 15 feet after taking a pass from Peter Bondra from behind the Edmonton net.

Washington's third goal came when Peter Bondra found himself alone during a scramble in front of Ranford and hit the open goal at 12:38, his 12th goal of the season.

Washington 1.. 2.. 2 -- 5

Edmonton.. 2.. 1.. 0 -- 3

First period--1, Edmonton, MacTavish 16 (Brown, Muni), 4:38. 2, Washington, Bergland 3 (Pivonka, Khristich), 17:12. 3, Edmonton, Tikkanen 25 (Anderson, Aitken), 18:02.

Second period--4, Edmonton, MacTavish 17 (Brown, Huddy), 5:44. 5, Washington, Bergland 4 (Bondra), 7:23. 6, Washington, Bondra 12 (Kypreos, Bergland), 12:38.

Third period--7, Washington, Kypreos 9 (Tippett), 3:17. 8, Washington, Khristich 9 (Druce), 13:57.

Shots on goal--Washington 6-16-9--31. Edmonton 8-4-10--22. Power-play opportunities--Washington 0 of 1; Edmonton 0 of 5. Goalies--Washington, Liut, 11-15-3 (22 shots-19 saves). Edmonton, Ranford 25-24-3 (31-26). A--16,482. Referee--Andy vanHellemond. Linesmen--Swede Knox, Randy Mitton.

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