Hotter Rangers melt Caps' 6-game streak


Terry Murray is not a greedy man.

But the Washington Capitals coach was hoping to milk one more win out of a streak that had reached six entering Saturday night's game against the New York Rangers at USAir Arena in Landover.

"I wanted it to last at least through tonight [Saturday]," Murray said after the Capitals had been shut out, 2-0, by the Rangers and hot goaltender Mike Richter.

Murray might have received his wish if Richter had not made 21 saves, including three spectacular ones.

Richter was especially tough late in the third period when the Capitals made a last-ditch run in an attempt to catch the Rangers, who had scored two goals in a little more than three minutes late in the first period.

With six minutes left in the game, Al Iafrate and three teammates went crashing into Richter in an attempt to put the puck in the net. But Richter stood his ground even though he and the goal were sent backward.

"That was an unbelievable save," Murray said. "Richter also made quality saves on Peter Bondra in the third period and Craig Berube in the first period."

It was the seventh straight win for the Rangers, who vaulted past the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers into first place in the Atlantic Division.

In all, Murray was pleased with his team despite the 2-0 score.

"We played well, and they played well," the coach said. "It's easy to see why they've won seven in a row and are in first place."

Washington has given up three or fewer goals in the past 12 games (9-3), and Murray hopes the offense can come around more.

"We need to make better decisions and support each other more," he said. "We just have to start another streak in the next game [tomorrow against San Jose at USAir Arena]."

At least the picture is a lot brighter than it was Oct. 15, when the Capitals were 0-6.

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