Capitals' 4-goal surge tops Flyers, 7-5


LANDOVER -- The new-look Philadelphia Flyers got the same old results at the Capital Centre last night.

Philadelphia has not won a game at the Capital Centre since Dec. 1, 1989, and nothing changed last night.

Not even the presence of recently acquired right wing Mark Recchi and defenseman Brian Benning could change the Flyers' fortunes in an emotional Patrick Division game before a sellout crowd of 18,130.

Recchi scored 33 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, and he scored two more last night in his debut with the Flyers.

But it wasn't enough against the Washington Capitals, who scored four goals in the third period for a 7-5 victory.

The win pushed the second-place Capitals three points ahead of the third-place New Jersey Devils in the Patrick Division, and moved them within five points of the first-place New York Rangers.

The line of Michal Pivonka, John Druce and Peter Bondra continued to do most of the damage for Washington, combining for four goals and four assists in the fast-paced game.

Pivonka had two goals and two assists, and Druce and Bondra each had one goal and one assist.

Even slumping Dino Ciccarelli got into the scoring act for Washington, getting his first goal in eight games when he scored in the third period.

Dale Hunter and Mike Ridley had the other Washington goals.

"Pivonka's line is hot, really hot the past several games," said Capitals coach Terry Murray. "I'll continue to play them together until the wheels fall off."

Pivonka said: "Our line creates a lot of problems for people. We have speed on one side in Bondra, and Druce presents problems on the other side, and I feel really good in the middle."

Pivonka has four goals and 21 assists in the past 20 games.

Druce has nine goals in the past 10 games and seems to be doing everything right after an earlier stretch in which he didn't even dress for some games.

"I just feel good, and I have so much confidence now that I'm not afraid to take a shot from 40 feet," Druce said. "I had a tough angle on my goal, but I still got it past him [Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall]. That's the way things are going for me now."

Druce's goal came at 12:43 of the second period and gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead. But Philadelphia came back to tie the score at 3 at the end of the period on Recchi's second goal.

That set the stage for Washington's four-goal surge in the third period. The Flyers' Hextall set up the Capitals' second goal of the third period when his clearing attempt was intercepted by Dmitri Khristich who got the puck to Ridley for a goal that gave Washington a 5-4 lead.

It was the second time last night that a Hextall turnover led to a Washington goal.

It all helped nullify an outstanding effort by Recchi, who came to Philadelphia Wednesday in a three-way trade involving the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Los Angeles Kings.

Benning was acquired from the Kings in the deal that also featured Rick Tocchet going from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and Paul Coffey moving from the Penguins to the Kings.

Philadelphia 1 2 2 -- 5

Washington 1 2 4 -- 7

First period--1, Washington, Pivonka 18 (Ciccarelli), 14:38 (pp). 2, Philadelphia, Recchi 34 (Duchesne, Huffman), 18:00 (pp). Penalties--Eklund, Phi (hooking), 4:11; Duchesne, Phi (tripping), 9:04; Brind'Amour, Phi, major (fighting), 11:32; Khristich, Was, major (fighting), 11:32; Freer, Phi (holding), 12:57; Kordic, Phi, major (fighting), 15:25; May, Was, major (fighting), 15:25; Krygier, Was (hooking), 16:29; Langway, Was, double minor (high-sticking), 17:25.

Second period--3, Philadelphia, Huffman 10 (Recchi, Ricci), :36 (pp). 4, Washington, Hunter 18 (Miller, Iafrate), 5:40. 5, Washington, Druce 17 (Pivonka, Iafrate), 12:43. 6, Philadelphia, Recchi 35 (Pederson), 15:06. Penalties--Boivin, Phi (interference), 2:07; Bondra, Was (tripping), 8:03; Conroy, Phi (high-sticking), 12:50; Ricci, Phi (tripping), 19:03.

Third period--7, Philadelphia, Dineen 23 (Ricci, Brind'Amour), 1:19. 8, Washington, Pivonka 19 (Druce, Bondra), 1:40. 9, Washington, Ridley 22 (Khristich), 4:58. 10, Washington, Bondra 22 (Pivonka), 11:12. 11, Philadelphia, Huffman 11 (Acton, Benning), 14:33. 12, Washington, Ciccarelli 28 (Ridley, Khristich), 16:19. Penalties--Johansson, Was (hooking), 1:53; Huffman, Phi (hooking) 2:09; Dineen, Phi (high-sticking), 12:01; Johansson, Was (high-sticking), 12:01.

Shots on goal--Philadelphia 10-8-14--32. Washington 11-13-14--38. Power-play opportunities--Philadelphia 2 of 5; Washington 1 of 7. Goalies--Philadelphia, Hextall, 10-15-6 (38 shots-31 saves). Washington, Beaupre, 21-12-3 (32-27). A--18,130. Referee--Dan Marouelli. Linesmen--Pat Dapuzzo, Leon Stickle.

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