The Washington Capitals christened their new arena with a victory Friday night as newly acquired Jeff Toms scored at 3:32 of overtime to pace a 3-2 triumph over the Florida Panthers.
Toms, acquired two weeks ago from Tampa Bay off the waiver wire, scored on a 2-on-1 break to give the Capitals a triumph in the first NHL game at the $200 million MCI Center.The Capitals won for only the third time in eight games, while the Panthers have won just two of nine. It was also the first road loss in six games for Florida.
The arena, which was filled to capacity when the NBA's Washington Wizards opened Tuesday, rarely came to life despite an announced sellout attendance of 19,740. Among those in the crowd was NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
SABRES 4, LIGHTNING 0: At Buffalo, N.Y., Dominik Hasek made 38 saves for his second straight shutout, and the Sabres got goals from three defensemen.
Hasek recorded back-to-back shutouts for the third time in his career and the first time since November, 1996. He has 23 career shutouts, including three this season.
FLYERS 4, RANGERS 4: At New York, Brian Leetch scored a pair of power-play goals to cap a three-goal comeback by the Rangers.
John LeClair had scored his 21st and 22nd goals to help the Flyers take a 4-1 lead in the second period. But the Rangers came back on a goal by Brian Skrud-land and the two by Leetch, who capped the rally at 3:07 of the third period with a slap shot from the right circle past Garth Snow.
HURRICANES 2, COYOTES 2: At Greensboro, N.C., Cliff Ronning's second goal in his last 20 games midway through the second period gave the injury-plagued Coyotes a tie.
Steve Leach's apparent game-winning breakaway goal for the Hurricanes with 4:09 left in regulation was waved off when teammate Robert Kron was penalized for dragging down Teppo Numminen, who was chasing Leach.
OILERS 3, RED WINGS 1: At Edmonton, Alberta, goaltender Bob Essensa earned his first win of the season and Edmonton Oilers stopped the Red Wings' six-game unbeaten streak.
Essensa made 27 saves and won for the first time since beating Washington 10 months ago. The Oilers halted a two-game losing streak and defeated Detroit for the first time at home since since March 5, 1995.
STARS 4, FLAMES 1: At Dallas, Ed Belfour stopped 20 shots and Pat Verbeek had a goal and an assist as the Dallas Stars beat the Calgary Flames for their seventh straight.
The Stars were without top scorer Mike Modano, lost for four to six weeks with a torn knee ligament suffered on a check by Edmonton's Bryan Marchment in a game on Wednesday night.