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This Date in Caps History - October 23

by Mike Vogel / Washington Capitals

On October 23, 1991, the Washington Capitals won their fourth straight road game and ran their overall record to 8-1-0 with a 6-5 win over the Oilers in Edmonton.

Edmonton’s Joe Murphy opened the scoring with a power play goal at 3:39 of the first period. Less than five minutes later, Kelly Buchberger scored to make it 2-0, Edmonton. With just 2:27 remaining in the opening period, Edmonton opened up a 3-0 lead on Buchberger’s second of the game and fifth of the season.

Although the Oilers outshot Washington by a 14-5 margin in the first period, Caps coach Terry Murray elected to pull goaltender Jim Hrivnak in favor of Mike Liut to start the second period. Edmonton wasted no time in baptizing Liut. Josef Beranek beat him at 2:18 of the second to give the Oilers a commanding 4-0 lead in their own building. But the Caps weren’t dead yet. Michal Pivonka beat the Oilers’ Bill Ranford at 9:42 of the second to put the Capitals on the board. Less than four minutes later, Washington’s Dino Ciccarelli cut the lead to 4-2 with his fourth goal of the season. When Peter Bondra netted his sixth of the season at the 17:20 mark, the Caps were back in the hockey game. Washington held a huge 16-5 advantage insecond period shots on goal.

Just two minutes into the third period, the Capitals’ Randy Burridge scored his third of the season to draw Washington even with the Oilers. Just over six minutes later, Ciccarelli’s second of the night gave Washington its first lead of the evening. But with Mike Ridley off for intereference, Edmonton’s Esa Tikkanen got a power play equalizer at 10:58. Overtime seemed imminent until Edmonton’s Craig Muni was whistled for tripping at 17:43. Just nine seconds later, the Caps made Edmonton pay for that transgression. Dmitri Khristich’s sixth of the season gave the Caps a 6-5 lead they would not relinquish. The Oil outshot Washington 14-9 in the third and33-30 on the game, but the Caps came away with their eighth win in nine games, extending the best start in franchise history.

With four assists, Dale Hunter earned the game’s number one star designation. Buchberger’s two goals were enough to earn him second star honors. Ciccarelli – with two goals and three points – was the number three star.

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