The Washington Capitals beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Saturday night for their first regulation win in Dallas since October 17, 1995. In our latest Caps Retro Recap, we take a look back at the Capitals last regulation win in “Big D” prior to last night.
Washington started the 1995-96 season in winning fashion, going into Dallas with a 3-1 record. Dallas had a 2-2 record and were on the fourth game of a homestand in Dallas. This was the team’s third year in Dallas, having previously played in Minnesota as the Minnesota North Stars. Their best player at the time was Mike Modano, who had been with them since their days in Minnesota.
The first period was marked by numerous Capitals’ penalties. Just under 3 ½ minutes into the game, Martin Gendron took a hooking penalty for the Caps, giving Dallas the power play. Less than 20 seconds after that penalty expired, Mike Kennedy scored for Dallas, assisted by Derian Hatcher and Todd Harvey. Dallas lead 1-0.
Less than a minute later, at 6:00 to be exact, Keith Jones got a high sticking penalty. It earned him a 5-minute major penalty, a game misconduct and automatic ejection from the game. The Caps had managed to kill more than three minutes of that penalty before Ken Klee was penalized for hooking at 9:40. This set up a 5-on-3 power play for Dallas who scored just over half a minute later, at 10:02, extending their lead to 2-0. The Caps took one more penalty in the period, but no further damages were done. The Caps went into the first intermission trailing 2-0.
At 3:24, Doug Smolek of Dallas earned a Holding/Obstruction penalty against the Caps. Kevin “Killer” Kaminski took exception to it and fought Smolek. Both were assessed five minutes for fighting, but Smolek also earned a minor for his initial infraction. This put the Caps on a power play. The Caps did not score on that power play, but would finally get on the board less than a minute later when Mike Eagles scored at 6:12, getting an assist from Kelly Miller.
Just over 20 seconds later, the Caps earned another power play when Derian Hatcher was penalized for Interference. This time, Mark Tinordi scored just over 30 seconds into the power play, at 7:06, with assists from Joe Juneau and Dale Hunter. The score was now tied at 2-2.
The Caps would take their first lead when Stefan Ustorf scored at 11:40, getting an assist by Pat Peake. Martin Gendron took another penalty, this time a tripping penalty at 15:05. While the Caps killed that penalty, Dallas had momentum after that and Dave Gagner scored his fifth goal of the year at 18:10, getting assists from Jere Lehtinen and Mike Donnelly. The score was now tied at 3-3 which remained the score going into second intermission.
At 5:01 into the period, former Capital, Kevin Hatcher, took a cross checking penalty, putting the Caps on the power play. Just 13 seconds later, Dale Hunter scored to break the tie and put the Caps in the lead. This was Hunter’s second goal of the season. He got an assist from Calle Johansson. The lead held up and would be the final score.
The Caps now had a 4-1 record and a three-game winning streak. They continued their road trip and played the Colorado Avalanche but were unable to keep their winning ways in that game. They ended up the regular season 39-32-11 and made the playoffs. The Caps lost their round 1 series to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games after winning the first two.
By Diane Doyle