The Pittsburgh Penguins scored two goals in the last 14 seconds tonight and averted a weekend wipeout by gaining a 6-6 NHL exhibition tie with the Washington Capitals.
It was a frustrating night all around for the Capitals, as goaltender Dave Parro, with muscle spasms in his troublesome left shoulder, could play only briefly.
Most frustrated of all were defensemen Doug Hicks and Greg Theberge and wingers Gaetan Duchesne and Torrie Robertson. Those familiar faces to Capital Centre habitues were assigned to the American League farm club here after the game.
The Capitals, who had beaten their Patrick Division rivals Friday in Baltimore and Saturday in Johnstown, Pa., seemed headed for a sweep as they led, 6-3, early in the last period and were dominating play.
Jim Hamilton's second goal of the game reduced the margin with 14:59 left, then most of the crowd of 1,518 headed for the exits as the clock ticked away the last half-minute.
With 14 seconds remaining, Steve Gatzos grabbed a loose puck in front of Washington's net and lifted it past goalie Pat Riggin to make it 6-5.
After Washington iced the puck with the clock showing :008, Pittsburgh pulled goalie Michel Dion for a sixth skater. The Penguins won the faceoff and, with a second to go, Andre St. Laurent took Greg Malone's pass and shot past Riggin.
Riggin played the first 31 1/2 minutes, then returned for the third period after Parro's shoulder began troubling him. Parro, who shut out Pittsburgh the full 60 minutes Friday night, yielded a goal on the first shot he faced tonight, Hamilton hitting from a sharp angle on the left wing.
"The spasms started right away and I couldn't lift my arm," Parro said. "They bothered me yesterday, too, and now I'm scheduled to see the doctor in Washington Tuesday."
The left shoulder has been a problem for Parro since he dislocated it in a softball game two years ago. He was struck there by a shot a week ago.
Bob Carpenter and Mike Gartner continued to burn the red lights, Carpenter netting his fifth goal of the preseason and Gartner his fourth. The other four scorers -- Milan Novy, Dennis Maruk, Timo Blomqvist and Brian Engblom -- were producing their first goals of the fall. Four of the Capitals' goals came on power plays as Pittsburgh was assessed 14 penalties, Washington 11.
Novy's goal, at exactly 13 minutes of the first period, was most welcome. His teammates proffered extra back slaps, knowing how difficult these two weeks of camp have been for the Czech who speaks no English.
Blomqvist's score, which made it 4-2 midway through the second period, was the prettiest goal of the night. Playing the right point, the Finn passed forward to Glen Currie, then moved in to take Currie's return pass and beat Penguins goalie Gary Edwards from 25 feet.
Blomqvist received more good news afterward, as he was named to the 22-man squad that breaks camp Monday, headed for Washington.