LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals were to have handled dTC the Philadelphia Flyers with ease last night.
The Flyers had been as cold as ice, coming into the Capital Centre with a 1-8-1 record in their past 10 road games. But the Capitals escaped with a 5-5 tie, after a penalty shot by rookie Eric Lindros sent the game into overtime.
"Any time things haven't been going great, and let's face it, they have been next to low -- the lowest of the low for a while -- just to steal a point out of here is good," Lindros said. "Not that I think we stole a point. I think we gave up a point. We should have come out of here with two points. But I'm happy we did get one."
The Capitals rallied from a 4-0 deficit (4-1 after two periods) and scored four goals in the third period. They also were happy to escape with a point.
The tie, combined with the New York Rangers' 6-4 loss to the New York Islanders, allows the Capitals to remain in second place with 41 points in the Patrick Division, one point ahead of the Rangers.
"It feels good just to show the character we showed," Capitals captain Kevin Hatcher said. "We were down 4-1 in the third, and we came back for four goals. I think that says a lot for us."
But the Capitals failed to hold on to the 5-4 lead on third-period goals by Kelly Miller, Hatcher, Pat Elynuik and Dimitri Khristich.
With 18 seconds left, Flyers' Pelle Eklund was in front of the Capitals goal and obviously about to score the tying goal when Capitals defenseman Al Iafrate slid into the net, knocking the goal off its moorings.
The referee blew his whistle, ruled Iafrate's action intentional and awarded a penalty shot.
"I collided with a Flyer, and I collided with the net and knocked it off," Iafrate said. "The officials made the right call. But I didn't do it intentionally -- but I didn't stop myself from falling into it, either."
On the penalty shot, Lindros faked to Capitals goalie Don Beaupre's left, then hit the puck to the right to tie the score.
Neither team started well. The first period, before 17,034 at the Capital Centre, was scoreless. Each team failed to produce on two power plays. But in the second, the Flyers broke a scoreless span of 134 minutes and 33 seconds. With 10:21 gone in the second period, Rod Brind'Amour put the Flyers ahead 1-0 with the first of four straight Philadelphia goals in the period.
Philadelphia 0 4 1 0 -- 5
Washington 0 1 4 0 -- 5