Relief goalie Dave Parro survived a spear by Tiger Williams to block 15 Vancouver shots in the third period and carry the Washington Capitals to a 3-3 tie against the Canucks tonight.
The Capitals lost goalie Mike Palmateer with an ankle injury in the second period and very nearly lost Parro, too, with 3 1/2 minutes left in the game. Williams, penalized earlier for interference against Palmateer, was back in the crease and Parro tried to push him out. Williams responded with a stick blade to Parro's chest and the goalie went down on his stomach.
Referee Bruce Hood assessed each player two minutes for slashing, a questionable call.
Parro eventually rose to his feet and fought off a last vancouver attempt to pull out a victory. Instead, the Capitals extended their unbeaten streak to five games with their second 3-3 tie in Pacific Coliseum. In the process, however, they lost not only Palmateer but defenseman Howard Walker, who was taken to a hospital with an apparent rib injury.
The Canucks took a 2-1 lead in the first period, as only some great goal-tending by Palmateer and a lot of luck kept Vancouver from breaking the game open. Although the Canuck shot advantage was only 10-8, most of Palmateer's eight saves were difficult. Two close-in shots struck posts and several others missed by inches.
The Washington defense was weakened by the absence of Rick Green, who has a severely pulled groin muscle. Pat Ribble, playing with a bruised right foot, was struck in the left knee by a Stan Smyl shot with five minutes left and did not return until the second period. A bruised, right knee kept penalty-killing specialist Wes Javis out of action, too.
Vancouver's Brent Ashton opened the scoring at 4:47. Defenseman Lars Lindgren carried the puck down the left side and cut around Washington defender Rick Smith, who hooked him. The puck slid behind the net, where Washington's Bob Kelly could have touched it, but he seemed mesmerized by the delayed penalty and permitted Ashton to grab it and cut in front. Palmateer got a piece of Ashton's shot, but the puck trickled across the goal line while both Palmateer and Kelly tried to pull it back.
The Capitals quickly pulled even at 5:42, following an interference penalty on Vancouver's Rick Lanz, Ribble's drive from the left point struck Mike Gartner's skate and caromed to Charron at the right of the net. He quickly beat goalie Richard Brodeur for his fifth goal.
Bobby Schmautz's 20th goal at 8:53 put the Canucks back in front. Schmautz cut across the slot and both defenseman Alan Hangsleben and Palmateer went down. Schmautz held the puck while Paul Mulvey failed to check him and finally fired it over the bodies on the ice while the crowd laughed.
A brief fight, in which Gartner pounded Gerry Minor to his knees, boiled over to involve every player on the ice, but Hood ignored the new rule calling for misconducts to all and issued only a double minor to Gartner, a single two-minute sentence to Minor.
The second period ended in a 3-3 tie. Dennis Ververgaert and ryan Walter scored 31 [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] score by Ivan Boldirev, his 250th NHL goal, pulled the Canucks even.
Palmateer started the play on the second Washington goal with a long pass up the right-wing boards. Rolf Edberg tapped it ahead to Ververgaert, who twice exchanged passes with Bengt Gustafsson before the Swede spun and put the puck on Ververgaert's stick in front of the net. It was the 10th goal for Ververgaert, a former Vancouver winger who was booed by the fans during the pregame introductions.
That score came at 6:42 and at 7:13 Walter converted Kelly's pass from behind the net for his 17th goal and a 3-2 Washington lead.
Boldirev converted a cross-ice pass from Williams with 56 seconds left in the period to tie the score after Parro made an excellent skate save on Darcy Rota.