Despite agonizing pain in his left shoulder, Dave Parro tried to return to the Washington Capitals' goal tonight. After a forgettable 20 minutes, in which Parro yielded four goals to the Chicago Black Hawks on 10 shots, Coach Bryan Murray summoned Al Jensen to Parro's relief.
By then, the outcome was decided, and the Hawks finished 7-3 winners as they extended their home unbeaten streak to 12 games. For the Capitals, it was their third straight rout on the road, after they had won two and tied the other in Murray's first NHL coaching efforts.
The Hawks' seven goals gave them 9,999 in their 55 years in the NHL, and the disgusted Parro reacted as if he had given up all 9,999.
"I felt useless," said Parro, making his first appearance since suffering a pinched nerve in the shoulder Nov. 25. "I feel bad. The team was working so hard and I wasn't helping at all. I didn't feel right. It took a lot out of me. I just hope it doesn't hurt my confidence.
"None of the goals against me were good goals. If I'd been healthy, I would have given up maybe one of them. My reflexes weren't there. It's tough coming back and I hadn't been working out much with the team. Whenever I had to use the glove, I felt a sharp pain and it's tough to block it out of your head. But I guess I had to try it sooner or later."
Murray had prodded Parro to return to action, because "I felt if Dave wasn't encouraged to play, he might be out for some time. We have to get good goaltending if we're going to go anywhere."
Mike Palmateer has a swollen right knee, following an arthroscopy on Nov. 30 to flush out loose particles. Jensen was shaken by the 9-4 rout in Toronto Saturday and Murray was reluctant to start him here.
"I felt the fellows would be confident with Davy Parro in goal," Murray said. "I thought if Dave could get through a period with the guys playing well, he'd get in the groove and the team would respond. After the way Al played in Toronto, coming in here against this team worried me."
Parro came to the rink early and his left shoulder was strapped. He tested it in the warmup without undue discomfort, but quickly encountered problems when the game began.
Chicago scored on its first shot, as Tim Higgins deflected Bob Murray's drive from the right point. The puck appeared to strike high on the post at Parro's right and it caromed out, with no light flashing and play continuing for a few seconds before referee Ron Hoggarth suddenly blew his whistle and signaled a score. The Capitals protested, to no avail, with Hoggarth claiming the puck had sailed just under the crossbar before popping out.
"I saw it hit the crossbar and post right on the corner," said defenseman Terry Murray. "That's why I talked to the referee. The goal judge just shook his head and never turned on the light."
Not long after, Parro made a glove save on Al Secord, then knelt on the ice for several seconds before rising and shaking his left arm. Chicago's Peter Marsh crashed into Parro a few seconds later, with enough intent visible for Chris Valentine to punch him before pulling him off the goalie.
After getting his glove up to deflect a drive by Doug Wilson, who was wearing a mask to guard a jaw broken Nov. 25, Parro lost his stick blocking a shot by Keith Brown. He was on his knees at the left post when Tom Lysiak caromed a shot off his glove to make it 2-0.
Reg Kerr beat Parro from the slot to make it 3-0, then Lysiak scored his second goal, putting a remarkable fake on defenseman Timo Blomqvist and deking Parro, who barely moved before the puck was deposited behind him.
Ryan Walter, Torrie Robertson and Bengt Gustafsson scored for the Capitals, who never were able to come closer than three goals of the Hawks.
Chicago's Terry Ruskowski was taken to a hospital for X-rays of his right hand, which may have been broken in a first-period fight with Blomqvist.
The Finn took Ruskowski into the boards and the feisty Chicago center replied with an elbow, then started punching while Blomqvist was looking the other way. Ruskowski scored a quick knockdown and, when the players were separated by the linesmen, Blomqvist was still wearing one of his gloves. Nevertheless, each received a fighting major, plus an extra minor.