The Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils started the New Year in a decidely different fashion than they closed 1990.
Both teams had eight-game streaks broken Tuesday as Dino Ciccarelli got the tie-breaking goal early in the third period and John Druce snapped a month-long drought by scoring twice in the Capitals' 4-3 victory over the Devils.Ciccarelli's eighth goal, with 14:20 left, snapped Washington's 0-7-1 streak and gave the Capitals their first victory since Dec. 11.
"It certainly was a big win for us," Washington coach Terry Murray said. "Everybody performed their roles very well today. We finally got some goals from the guys we expect them from."
New Jersey, meanwhile, was foiled in its bid for a franchise-record nine-game unbeaten string. The setback - which followed a 3-0-5 streak - kept the Devils two points behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Patrick Division.
"They worked hard and they got a lot of shots. That's what happens when you get all those chances," said New Jersey goalie Chris Terreri, who had 30 saves.
"We didn't play very well today," Terreri said. "Not as well as we have been and certainly not as well as the team is capable of playing."
Ciccarelli took a pass from Mikhail Tatarinov below the left circle and took a shot that hit the outside of the net, then hit Terreri's skate and trickled over the goal line.
With the victory, the Capitals improved to 2-13-0 when trailing after the first period. Washington goalie Don Beaupre stopped 16 shots to earn his first win since Dec. 7 - also against the Devils.
Beaupre preserved the victory with several late saves, including a pad stop on a shot by Bruce Driver from the slot with 5:30 remaining and a glove save on a slap shot by Brendan Shanahan with 41 seconds left.
Two goals by Druce turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Druce deflected a shot by Kevin Hatcher into the net at 8:08 of the second period, then powered into the slot to put in his own rebound at 15:31 with Washington on the power play.
"I was thinking that I've been working hard and got the chances." Druce said. "Eventually, it was going to go into the net for me."