Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Washington Capitals have been working overtime for 10 days, so they hardly needed another dose tonight.
Marty Howe's 50-foot power-play drive, following a questionable tripping penalty on the Capitals' Gord Smith, brought the New England Whalers a 5-4 extra-period victory over the Capitals.
The game was played under World Hockey Association rules, which call for a 10-minute sudden-death period if the game is tied after 60 minutes. So the Capitals, erasing a 4-2 deficit on [WORD ILLEGIBLE] period goals by Ron Lalonde and in [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Rowe, found themselves in the [WORD ILLEGIBLE] overtime contest of their four[WORD ILLEGIBLE] history.
Smith dumped Andre Peloffy, a former Capital, with his patented hip [WORD ILLEGIBLE] but referee Peter Moffat apparently hasn't seen many of them in the J.A. He sent Smith off for two minutes.
[WORD ILLEGIBLE] didn't get him as good as I usually do," Smith said, "but I got a piece [WORD ILLEGIBLE]I fell back and my stick went [WORD ILLEGIBLE] too. It was nowhere near his [WORD ILLEGIBLE] to trip him."
With Smith off, Howe drilled a [WORD ILLEGIBLE] low shot from the left point between the post and goalie Gary Smith, who got a leg on the puck too late to prevent Washington's first loss in three meetings with WHA teams.
Smith went the distance in his first appearance for the Capitals and turned back 25 shots, including four in the first 33 seconds as the Whalers came out steaming under a banner that read, "Give 'em Hell - Blow Out the NHL."
Acc Bailey produced Washington's first two goals, the second on a brillant assist by Rowe. That New England (Lynn. Mass) native shot wide.
[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCES] retrieved the puck behind the net and fed Bailey to the right of goalie Lou Levasseur.
The Whalers had seemingly put it away at 4-2 on a great play by Larry Pleau at 8:56 of the third period. Pleau, flattened by defenseman Robert Picard, reached out and shoveled the puck to Tom Webster in front of the net for an easy score.
Just 35 seconds later, Lalonde intercepted a pass by Whaler defenseman Bryan Maxwell and skated in for a breakaway goal. Rowe tied it on a 25-foot blast with 5:45 remaining, converting a fine pass from Walter McKechnie.
There was an anxious moment late in the game when Picard was knocked over goalie Cap Raeder into the Whaler net. But the youngster said later, "I'm OK. I just lost my breathing."
Washington coach Tom McVie disappeared in disgust at the conclusion, but the most disappointed Capital was given a rare night off.
"I missed a chance to play against probably the greatest player who ever lived," Lynch said, meaning 49-year-old Gordie Howe. That grayed veteran, who ran 2 1/2 miles in land training Tuesday, was at the starting line for the extra period tonight.