Can there be winning ugly in hockey, too? Bob Carpenter of the Washington Capitals thinks so.
"We never beat anybody by more than one or two goals and we just grind it out night after night, but somehow we get the job done," Carpenter said Wednesday night after his two goals helped Washington defeat the Chicago Black Hawks, 3-2, at Chicago.
The Capitals claimed their fifth consecutive National Hockey League victory and 13th in their last 16 games away from home. They have lost only four of their last 29 games.
"We knew if we could score first and then enter the third period tied or ahead we would be virtually unbeatable," said Carpenter, who collected his 36th and 37th goals of the season, including the game-winner.
Carpenter's two goals put him within four of the NHL record for an American-born hockey player in one season. Joe Mullen of St. Louis set the mark a year ago.
Said Capital's Coach Brian Murray: "We knew the Hawks would not give us many chances, particularly in the third period, but when they were shut out in the opening period even with the crowd behind them we knew we had a good chance
"That's What we want to do, take the lead early and then control the game in the final period. We did control it there in the final period and were successful keeping them from getting scoring chances." Minnesota 4, Pittsburgh 3--Tony McKegney scored his 20th goal in the third period for the game-winner and assisted on another goal as the North Stars took a season-high 49 shots and snapped a four-game winless streak at Bloomington, Minn.
Calgary 5, New Jersey 3--Second-period goals by Swedish forwards Kent Nilsson and Hakan Loob in a 58-second span at Calgary helped the Flames extend their unbeaten streak to 3-0-1.
Winnipeg 6, Vancouver 4--At Vancouver, steady netminding by Brian Hayward and two goals from Paul MacLean carried the Jets to their third straight victory.
Hayward faced 44 Vancouver shots and was sharp during a 1 minute 48-second span in the opening period when the Jets played two men short without allowing a goal.