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Ciccarelli scores twice, as Caps rattle Sabres, 5-2 Fast start sparks preseason victory


LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals made their 1991-92 debut at the Capital Centre last night, and Dino Ciccarelli didn't make the fans wait long to put on a show.

Ciccarelli scored two goals in the first two periods, and th Capitals went on to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in the first and only preseason game at the Capital Centre this season.

Ciccarelli and the Capitals ran off to a 5-0 lead at 3 minutes, 2seconds of the third period and coasted the rest of the way.

John Slaney, Peter Bondra and Randy Burridge also scored foWashington as the Capitals outshot the Sabres, 27-21. Michal Pivonka had three assists for Washington, and Burridge added another.

"My job is to score goals when I get the chance and I did thatonight," said Ciccarelli. "I'm getting the opportunities. It's a good sign for the regular season."

Buffalo got goals from Dale Hawerchuk and Pierre Turgeon in ththird period.

The win raised Washington's preseason record to 5-2-1 with two games remaining tonight and tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The outcome of this game was evident in the second periowhen Washington erupted for three goals in less than seven minutes and took a 4-0 lead at 13:27 of the period.

Slaney, Bondra and Ciccarelli scored the three consecutivgoals to send the Capitals on their way to the decisive victory. Pivonka had assists on all three of the second-period goals.

Washington coach Terry Murray said he was pleased with mosof what he saw last night except a "lazy and sloppy" stretch in the second period.

"Those are the kinds of stretches we need to avoid if we're gointo play consistent hockey," said Murray. "I want to get away from those emotional ups and downs. I think we're starting to come together now."

When asked if the Capitals were at a point he wanted them to bwith just two preseason games remaining, Murray said: "It's hard to tell because I don't know where everybody else is, especially those teams in our division [Patrick]."

Murray said the two goals by Ciccarelli were exactly what thCapitals star has to do this season.

"Dino has to score goals, he has to finish for us," said Murray.

Ciccarelli's second-period score came on a power play at 13:27making the Capitals 1-for-3 on man-up situations at that point of the game.

Washington had a 7-6 edge in shots in the second period, givinthe home team a 17-12 advantage after the first 40 minutes of play.

The Capitals began their domination of the Sabres in the firsperiod when Ciccarelli scored at 12:28 for a 1-0 lead.

Washington outshot Buffalo, 10-6, in the first period.

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