On the scoreboard, it was a tie. For the Washington Capitals, however, tonight's 4-4 exhibition with the philadelphia Flyers produced another distressing loss.
Defenseman Howard Walker, checked into the boards in the third period, suffered a slight separation of his left shoulder and will not be available for Wednesday's regular-season opener at Buffalo.
The list of injured defensemen already included Timo Blomquist (broken jaw), Rick Green (groin pull), Pierre Bouchard (dizziness related to a broken nose) and Jay Johnston (hip pointer). The latest injury makes it imperative that Washington obtain one or more defensemen either by trade or through Monday's waiver draft.
"The puck went in the corner off a faceoff and I went in after it," Walker said. "I got hit and started to fall and got hit again and it went. I don't think it's too serious. It's just painful."
There was momentary fear that Bobby Carpenter had been seriously injured, too, when he was rammed into the boards by the Flyers' Mark Botell after taking a shot in the third period.
"I just had the wind knocked out of me," Carpenter said later. "The stick was caught between my chest and the boards and it really caught me. It took me a while to get my breath."
Earlier, Carpenter became engaged in a battle royale with the Flyers' Ken Linseman. The two hacked and chopped at each other until Carpenter turned and cross-checked Linseman to the ice, landing atop him.
The Flyers' Reed Bailey jumped on Carpenter, as did Fred Williams, but the Capitals, who had an extra man on the ice, rolled them off and permitted Carpenter to renew his assault. Bailey was ejected and Carpenter and Linseman were assessed minors and double majors.
Asked if he felt he had passed another test, Carpenter, scratch marks visible on his face, said, "I hope so. I'd rather play hockey, but sometimes it's got to be done."
Philadelphia Coach Pat Quinn sounded a warning: "The young man has a lot of talent. He's feisty and if he continues to use his stick that way, he'll eat some along the way. But maybe he's prepared to pay that price."
A total of 208 penalty minutes was assessed by referee Ron Hoggarth, too many by Quinn's standards and too few by the judgment of Washington Coach Gary Green. Oddly, the key penalty in a game that included sticks being used in every manner imaginable was for use of an illegally curved stick by Washington's Roland Stoltz.
Quinn protested the curvature with 3:14 remaining. It was found to be more than the legal half-inch, and while Stoltz was in the box Bobby Clarke produced the tying goal for Phildelphia.
Torrie Robertson, who learned after the game that he was being assigned to Hershey, scored two goals, including a second-period penalty shot. Robertson was tripped from behind by Botell. Robertson skated in on goalie Pelle Lindbergh and lined a shot just inside the left post.
"I never took one before," Robertson said. "I didn't want to take it. I asked whether somebody else could take it. If you miss in front of everybody, it's awful. But when it went in, I really felt good -- relieved, too."
Martin Burgers, a Dutch-born defenseman who played Tier Two hockey in Guelph, Ontario, last year, scored one Washington goal and set up another by Dennis Maruk. Burgers figures to stay in Hershey, too, but he may make it to Washington on attrition.