The Washington Capitals, who have learned in the past two s
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) _ The Washington Capitals, who have learned in the past two springs that one line isn’t enough to carry a team in the playoffs, had to be happy with what happened Sunday. Washington got points from 12 different players with perhaps the most important coming from forward Bengt Gustafsson, who has missed 28 games this season with a variety of leg injuries.
″I feel pretty health now and my game is coming around pretty good,″ said Gustafsson, who had a goal and an assist in the Capitals’ 7-3 victory over Pittsburgh. Gustafsson, the third-leading scorer in the club’s history, has scored only 12 times this season but has scored goals in four of the five games he’s played since coming back from his latest injury.
Lou Franceschetti, Mike Gartner, and Alan Haworth each had a goal and an assist Sunday as well, in helping Washington raise its record to 43-22-9. Pittsburgh 23-44-5, has lost four straight.
The clubs were tied at 2-2 after one period, before Washington opened it up with second-period powerplay goals by Mike McEwen and Scott Stevens. The Penguins closed the margin to 4-3 20 seconds into the third period on Mike Bullard’s 30th goal of the season. But the Capitals got goals from Gartner, his 46th, Bob Gould and Haworth in the space of 3:15 late in the period to put the game away.
Franceschetti, who has been with the Washington organization longer than any other player, scored at 2:10 of the first period. After Warren Young tied it at 10:35, Gustafsson put Washington back in front. Randy Hillier tied it again with a powerplay goal at 17:10, but the Penguins managed only nine shots on goal the rest of the way and were unable to overcome Washington’s 36-16 shooting edge.