The Washington Capitals' brain trust has seen a lot of Stan Jonathan and Peter McNab. The Capitals saw far too much of the pair of Boston Bruins tonight, as each scored two goals in a 5-2 breeze past the Ice Capades orphans.
"I'd gladly take Stan Johathan back to Washington with me," said Washington coach Tom McVie, who was Jonathan's head man at Dayton for three months in 1975. "But Harry Sinden won't let me.I knew when I got him at Dayton that he was going to play one year in the International League and I'd never see him again."
McVie saw the 21-year-old left wing tonight, however, and the sight aroused a sense of greed.
"I'm sick of watching him," Washington general manager Max Webb said, in reference to son Peter. "I don't want to see him again until the playoffs."
Jonathan, playing regular shift with John Bucyk nursing a bad back, raised his modest goal total to seven.McNab, the NHL's fourth leading scorer, now has 35 goals, well above his previous one-season high of 24.
The Capitals had only one man to match Boston's firepower. He was Gerry Meehan, who produced both Washington goals for a total of 16. Meehan has registered seven goals and nine assists in his last nine games.
The first 16 minutes were scoreless, and relatively even. Then the Bruins poured three shots past goalie Ron Low in just 2 minutes 20 second.
The first score followed a carom pass off the side boards by Boston's Gary Doak that left Washington's Bryan Watson twisting the wrong way. Jonathan raced past Watson and gathered the puck on his stick. Low came out a moment too late and Jonathan steered the puck around him, then shot into the empty net.
One hundred seconds later, McNab skated in unguarded from the corner to Low's left and connected with a 20-footer while Terry O'Reilly screened Low.
Just 40 seconds after the goal, with the Capitals' Jean Lemieux in the penalty box, Don Marcotte was planted in front of Low and converted Bobby schmautz's pass from behind the net.
That man in front was a steady companion for Low during his 40 minutes, in which he permitted five goals on 18 shots. Bernie Wolfe served third-period duty, blocking all 14 attempts that came his way.
After Bill Riley stole the puck from the Bruins' Jean Ratelle, Meehan scored with just eight seconds left in the first period. That sent the Capitals to the dressing room with a smidgin of hope, but it quickly disappeared as McNab used his strength to jam the slot and convert Earl Anderson's pass from behind the Washington net.
Jonathan wrapped it up, except for a third-period Meehan-Riley production, with a long drive over Low's right shoulder from the left point. Rick Midleton was in front this time, Middleton was in front this time, distracting the goaltender.
Johnathan had several good opportunities for a hat trick, but Wolfe foiled him with some remarkable saves, including one drive that struck Wolfe in the shoulder and left him on the rubbing table afterward.
"I had three good shots for the third goal, but they just didn't go in," said Jonathan, a Mohawk Indian who is one of 14 children."But I'm happy just to get one goal."
Jonathan, only 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, didn't expect to stay with the Bruins this year, after just one season in the International League, but his hustle has earned him a good following among the critical Boston fans.
"He plays left wing the way you're supposed to play it," McVie said. "He can skate, and is he tough."
"I didn't regret anything Tom McVie made me to there (at Dayton)," Jonathan said. "He really works you hard, but he worked right along with us. If you want to play, he gets you in shape."
Jonathan wants to play, but finding ice time here is difficult, because all the Bruins have the same attitude. They came out flying tonight, following a Friday loss in Atlanta and a day off, and the Capitals, following that rugged 3-3 tie on Long Island Saturday night, were overmatched.
"They were too much for us tonight,' McVie said. "We couldn't move anybody and they killed us with their passing and moving game. They'd pass the puck and fill the hole, and they were always ready to shoot."
The Bruins now lead second-place Buffalo by six points in the Adams Division. Washington, which remained eight behind Los Angeles in the struggle for third in the Norris Division, plays game No. 4 on its current eight-game trip in Chicago Wednesday.