Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Out of the fog and into the victory column came the Washington Capitals. While a capacity crowd of 4,759 and soaring humidity contributed to haze on the ice, the Capitals broke through their personal fog with five third-period goals tonight to thrash the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6-2.
Thirty minutes of flawless goaltending by 21-year-old Jim Bedard and two goals by Ron Lalonde werre key factors as the Capitals ended a string of three one-goal exhibition defeats.
Washington was a goal behind, as usual, and the Leafs were pressing on a power play when the game tilted the Capitals' way early in the third period.
After the puck had been in the Washington end fro 80 seconds, defenseman Yvon Labre finally cleared it. En route up ice, the puck caromed off the stick of Toronto defenseman lan Turnbull and was picked up by speeding Capital Ron Lalonde, who beat goalie Gord McRae on the stick side for a shorthanded score and a 2-2 tie.
That came at 2:11 and just over three minutes later another error by the Leafs' defense proved costly. A wil pass by Trevor Johansen was cut off by Washington's Gord Lane. McRae stopped his 50-footer, but Mike Marson netted the rebound and it proved to be the winner.
While the fans screamed "Go, Leafs go," their heroes managed a few offensive sorties. Bedard, however, smothered all of them and Gerry Meechan stifled the crowd by taking Gord Smith's beautiful pass between two Toronto defenders and slipping the puck between McRae's legs at 14:30.
King Clancy, the 74-year-old Toronto vice president, was handling the Leafs while new coach Roger Neilson sat in the stands. Clancy doesn't like to lose, so he pulled goalie McRae for a sixth skater. Hank Novak quickly hit the empty net and it was 5-2.
When Marson sent off for booking with 57 seconds left. Clancy lifted McRae again. After Hartland Monahan hit a post. Lalonde closed out the scoring with his second shorthanded goal of the game.
Bernie Wolfe played the first 30 minutes in the Washington nets and yielded two goals in 17 shots while making some spectacular saves. Bedard needed to block out only nine as the Leafs shooting went awry on some close-in efforts.
Toronto left Borje Salming, Tiger Williams, Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson home for this one, which didn't hurt the Capitals' cause. Earlier today, Washington returned defensement Bob Paradise and Jean Lemieux and left wing John Stewart to the Hershey training camp.
Left wing Craig Patrick, who scored the first Washington goal, left the game with a strained Achilles tendon. Preliminary examination indicated that the injury was not serious.