WASHINGTON (AP) -- Glen Hanlon's first game as an NHL head coach was as
memorable as it was successful: 11 goals by 11 players and a victory that
stopped a three-game losing streak.
Playing with more speed and energy, the Washington Capitals chased
goaltender Felix Potvin with three quick first-period goals in a 6-5 victory
over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
"Tonight was all about emotion and trying to get the guys to ride that,"
Hanlon said. "They did a good job. It was fun."
Goals from usual stars Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra and Dainius Zubrus were
supplemented by rare scores from Matt Pettinger, Bates Battaglia and Jeff
Halpern, making for a scoring diversity that was missing under fired coach
Cassidy was dismissed Wednesday, 28 games into his second season -- with the
Capitals at the bottom of the standings. Poor play and discord in the locker
room led general manager George McPhee to replace Cassidy with assistant coach
"The first 28 games were pretty rough, and unfortunately, the coach is the
one who takes the ax for it," goaltender Olaf Kolzig said. "Now, as players,
the pressure is on us, and for the most part we responded pretty well."
Mike Knuble, Dan McGillis, Martin Lapointe, Ted Donato and Travis Green
scored for the Bruins, who tied their last three games and were playing their
third game in four nights. An early 1-0 lead was wasted when back-to-back
penalties led to a five-on-three goal for Bondra and a five-on-four for Jagr.
"Our lack of discipline in the penalty category cost us," coach Mike
Sullivan replaced Potvin just 6:37 in after three goals on consecutive shots
and replaced him with Andrew Raycroft.
"I thought Felix had a couple of bad breaks," Sullivan said. "I don't
know if there was much he could do on any of the goals. It was more of a case
of trying to inspire our team to respond."
Meanwhile, the Capitals were thriving on the changes made by Hanlon. Bondra
was used in a more defensive role, Halpern was more involved overall after his
recent benching, and Zubrus' workhorse effort throughout was rewarded with a
successful penalty shot. Battaglia scored his first goal since March 20, ending
a 28-game scoreless streak.
"A lot of things they did were their own natural skills in a hockey
sense," Hanlon said. "And maybe we should leave it like that."
Hanlon had to survive a wild finish, with four goals in the final six
minutes. Halpern made it a three-goal lead into an empty net -- though the
Bruins felt the puck should have been whistled dead for icing -- before Donato
and Green scored in the final 1:02.
"We'll take a win," Hanlon said. "People complain about lack of scoring,
but you can't complain about that tonight."