It Was Twenty Years Ago Today
That the Caps and Flyers played Game 2 of their Patrick Division semifinal series at the Capital Centre in Landover. Pete Peeters was in goal for the Caps and Ron Hextall for the Flyers.
The Caps grabbed an early lead on Kevin Hatcher’s goal at 47 seconds of the first, assisted by Bengt Gustafsson. Philly scored twice within 2:27 to take the lead with Mark Howe and Dave Brown lighting the lamp. Bobby Gould drew the Caps even at 2-2 with a goal at 18:36 of the first, Mike Gartner and Scott Stevens assisting.
Peter Zezel gave the Flyers a lead midway through the second period, but Washington’s Steve Leach answered back and evened the game at 3-3 just 21 seconds later. Michal Pivonka and Kelly Miller earned the helpers on the Leach goal.
With the game tied and less than two minutes remaining in the second, the Caps’ Peter Sundstrom scored the key goal of the game. With help from Hatcher and Gustafsson, Sundstrom beat Hextall while Washington was shorthanded to give the Caps a 4-3 lead going into the final period. It was one of three shorthanded goals the Caps scored in the series. All three came in Washington wins.
Having won Game 1 a night earlier, the Flyers were seeking to gain a chokehold on the series. Philadelphia outshot Washington 15-8 in the third, but Kelly Miller’s goal at 6:12 gave the Caps a two-goal lead, Leach and Pivonka assisting. Brian Propp — now the Flyers’ radio color analyst — scored with 4:05 remaining to draw Philly within a goal, but the Flyers could not get the equalizer. Peeters stopped 31 of 35 shots to earn the win, and the series went to Philly even up at 1-1.
Caps fans know the rest of the story. Philly won the next two games in its building to go up 3-1 in games, but the Caps roared back to win three straight and take the series. Caps captain Dale Hunter netted the clincher in Game 7, the famous overtime goal at the Capital Centre that beat Hextall through the five-hole.