On October 13, 1986, the Capitals rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to take a 7-6 overtime decision over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers outshot Washington 19-9 in the first period and scored the only two goals of the session. With Washington’s Gaetan Duchesne off for high-sticking, New York’s Willie Huber fired home a power play goal to put the Rangers on the board. Just over four minutes later, Don Maloney scored a shorthanded goal to bump to Ranger lead to 2-0.
Walt Poddubny scored for the Rangers three minutes into the third to give New York a 3-0 lead. The Rangers’ Kjell Samuelsson was nabbed for holding at 6:23 of the middle frame, and the Caps wasted no time in making the Blueshirts pay. Nine seconds into the man-advantage, Bobby Carpenter converted Larry Murphy’s feed to get the Caps started. At 9:31, Washington’s Michal Pivonka beat New York’s Doug Soetaert for his first NHL goal. Pierre Larouche scored for the Rangers with 1:16 remaining in the second to push the New York advantage back to two goals.
Washington came out blazing in the third. Yvon Corriveau’s goal at 8:17 made it 4-3 Rangers. Mike Gartner tied it for the Caps just over two minutes later. At the 13:12 mark, Craig Laughlin scored to give Washington its first lead of the night, 5-4. Dave Christian’s goal at 14:23 was Washington’s fourth unanswered goal and it gave the Caps a two-goal lead.
Laughlin went off for holding at 16:59 and New York’s Mike Ridley scored on the resulting power play to pull the Rangers to within one. The Rangers pulled Soetaert for an extra skater and the ploy paid off when Huber scored his second of the night to tie the game with just 36 seconds left in regulation.
The Rangers outshot Washington 41-34 during regulation, but the Caps carried the play in the extra session. Washington unleashed four shots on Soetaert while the Blueshirts couldn’t get one on Al Jensen. Gartner took a pass from Pivonka and slipped that fourth OT shot past Soetaert for a Washington win.
Gartner finished the night with a goal and two assists while Kevin Hatcher and Larry Murphy each had three assists. Pivonka and Carpenter each registered a goal and an assist.