On November 8, 1997, the Washington Capitals defeated the Edmonton Oilers by a 2-1 score before a scarce Saturday night crowd of just 10,397 at USAir Arena. In the game, Caps defenseman Phil Housley notched his 1,000th career NHL point.
With Edmonton defenseman Drake Berehowsky already off for interference, the Oilers went down two men when they were whistled for having too many men on the ice at 4:36 of the first. The Caps struck quickly when Calle Johansson blasted one home on the five-on-three Washington power play at 4:48. For Johansson, it was his seventh goal of the young season. Housley and Adam Oates gained the assists and Housley’s helper made him the fifth defenseman to reach the 1,000 plateau in career points. He was preceded by Dennis Potvin, Raymond Bourque, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy. Washington outshot Edmonton by a 12-2 margin in the first but led by only a goal at intermission.
Just 1:11 into the second period, the Oilers’ Craig Millar beat Washington netminder Olaf Kolzig to tie the game at 1-1. That was the extent of the scoring in the second frame; Edmonton edged the Caps in shots on goal by a 10-9 margin.
Just 30 seconds into the final period, Adam Oates beat Edmonton’s Curtis Joseph for his fifth goal of the season. Sylvain Cote and Peter Bondra picked up assists on the Oates tally, which proved to be the game-winner. The Oilers outshot the Caps 6-4 in the third but the Caps led 25-18 in that department on the evening.
Johansson earned first star honors and Edmonton’s Boris Mironov was named the game’s number two star. Oates’ two-point night gained him the third star designation.
The game was also noteworthy as it turned out to be the final NHL contest in the star-struck career of Capitals right winger Pat Peake. Peake showed a great deal of promise during his days in the NHL but a serious of debilitating injuries plagued him and he was eventually undone by a shattered heel that occurred in an April, 1996 playoff game against Pittsburgh. Peake suffered the injury in an icing touch-up and spent most of the next two years undergoing a variety of surgical procedures and grueling rehabilitation. Peake appeared in only five NHL games after his heel injury and was just 24 years old when his playing days ended.