Capitals too hot for Flames, 5-2 Burridge scores 2; Druce gets goal, assist


LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals treated a sellout crowd of 18,130 to a dominating performance last night, defeating the Calgary Flames, 5-2, at the Capital Centre.

The Capitals played aggressively on offense and defense and got timely scoring from several players to hand the Flames their fourth straight loss, matching their longest losing streak of the season.

Randy Burridge scored two power-play goals, a department in which the Capitals lead the NHL with a 25 percent mark; John Druce had a goal and an assist; Peter Bondra scored his first goal in four games; and Nick Kypreos scored a goal. Michal Pivonka, Calle Johansson and Kevin Hatcher had two assists each. The Capitals outshot the Flames, 38-23.

Burridge's first goal came when Johansson fired a slap shot from the point that caromed off Calgary's Carey Wilson and off Burridge's nose, then went into the net past goalie Jeff Reese.

"No one can say I don't have a nose for the puck," said Burridge, who had five stitches to close a cut on the bridge of his nose. "All I can say is that if you get hit with a puck in the face, it had better go in the net.

"This was a good win for us. We wanted to pick up the tempo after our poor game in Philadelphia [a 3-2 loss to the Flyers in which the Capitals managed only 15 shots]. We had to get back to our game plan, and we have to start playing consistently."

Washington scored two goals in each of the first two periods and one in the third. Calgary beat goalie Don Beaupre twice, but each time the Capitals responded quickly with a goal.

The victory was the second in a row at the Capital Centre for Washington, which has been hot and cold lately. The Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins handily on Sunday before losing to the last-place Flyers on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy with the job we did against a good team like Calgary," said Capitals coach Terry Murray. "We took a bad loss in Philly, and we knew we had to rebound from that effort. We had a couple of hard practices, and whatever we did [last night], we have to keep doing it."

Washington continued its superiority over Smythe Division teams the Capital Centre, winning its fourth game without a loss.

"We had a tough time in Philadelphia losing a very frustrating game," said Mike Lalor, who assisted on Kypreos' goal. "We figured we had a good chance to beat the Flyers in a divisional game. It just goes to show you that you have to come ready to play every game. We know the situation we're in. We have 30 games to play and we want to do well the rest of the way."

Reese, who made 33 saves, said: "Burridge's goal was one of the luckiest I've ever seen. Washington is a good defensive team, and once you get behind, it is very tough to come back."

Theo Fluery, the Flames' leading scorer who was shut out by the Capitals defense, said: "We haven't played well since the All-Star break. This is a desperate time for us. Only a couple of points separate us from making or not making the playoffs."

A pair of goals in the first period gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead. Kypreos deflected Lalor's shot from center point past Reese at 7:49, giving Washington a 1-0 lead.

Bondra, scoring on the rebound of a shot by Druce at 14:32, made it 2-0. It was Bondra's 18th goal of the season and his first in four games.

The Capitals continued to roll in the second period. Burridge's power-play goal at 23 seconds made it 3-0. It was the 63rd extra-man goal of the season for the Capitals, who lead the NHL in that category.

NOTES: Recording star Marie Osmond sang the national anthem. The Capitals will go on the road for a pair of games, at Buffalo on Tuesday and at Detroit on Wednesday, before returning to the Capital Centre on Friday to face the Patrick Division-leading Rangers. . . . D Shawn Chambers (knee) missed last night's game. D Ken Sabourin has been sent to the AHL Skipjacks, and LW Dave Tippett is on loan to the Canadian Olympic team. He will join two Capitals farmhands -- D Brad Schlegel and D Jason Woolley.

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