Doug Jarvis illustrated today, and tonight, why he is called a National Hockey League "iron man."

After being knocked unconscious in the last minute of Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over the Red Wings in Detroit and spending the night in a hospital, Jarvis caught the Washington Capitals' morning flight and said he was ready to play tonight against the St. Louis Blues and extend his consecutive-game streak to 762.

And so he did, taking regular shifts on the forward line.

"I'm fine," Jarvis said. "They tested me and everything was negative. No headaches, nothing. I must be okay, because the doctor's wife drove me out to the airport."

The only time Jarvis had doubts was when Coach Bryan Murray called him at the hospital this morning and said Jarvis could "stand behind the bench with me tonight."

"I was just kidding," Murray said, "but he took it seriously. He's some competitor. When I told him today that I planned to spot him a few shifts, he glared at me like he was daring me to try to keep him on the bench . . . "

Jarvis had gotten off the empty-net shot clinching victory when an elbow by Detroit's Randy Ladouceur felled him. The back of his head hit the ice; he took 11 stitches.

His streak trails only Garry Unger's record 914 games and Craig Ramsay's 776.