The Washington Capitals used a lineup that featured aggressiveness and desire instead of scoring skill tonight. It was not enough, as the Boston Bruins posted a 4-1 NHL exhibition win.
The Bruins, using most of their regulars, had three power play goals and an empty-net score to avenge Saturday's 4-3 loss at Capital Centre. Alan Haworth scored for Washington, which was without Mike Gartner, Bengt Gustafsson and ailing Bob Carpenter and Dave Christian.
Referee Dave Newell called 32 penalties and the Bruins obviously made better use of the frequent differences in manpower. The Capitals, zero for seven on the power play tonight, have converted only one of 25 in four exhibitions, yielding seven goals in 21 short-handed situations.
Gord Kluzak, who missed last season with a severe knee injury, scored the first two Boston goals, including the game winner. He assisted on a third, by Barry Pederson.
After firing only four shots on goal in the first period, the Capitals tested Boston veteran Pete Peeters nine times in the first 10 minutes of the second period. Peeters, who shut out Philadelphia for 36 minutes in his only previous appearance, was perfect again, making superb glove saves on Larry Murphy and Kevin Hatcher.
Haworth's goal created a 1-1 tie after two minutes of the third period. It came against Doug Keans, Peeters' relief, and virtually concluded the Capitals' offense.
Kluzak sent Boston ahead to stay at 4:11 with a drive from the blueline on which Kevin Markwart, shoved into the crease by Washington's Rod Langway, effectively blocked the view of goalie Pat Riggin.
Capitals rookie winger Yvon Corriveau was off for hooking on that one and another youngster, Ed Kastelic, was serving an unsportsmanlike conduct minor -- tacked onto a major and gross misconduct -- when Pederson wrapped it up from the left wing circle at 15:07.
Play was aggressive from the opening faceoff and Newell easily could have raised the level of punishment. As it was, in addition to waving players into the penalty box, he set some sort of record by waving three players out of it. Washington's Greg Adams and Boston's Markwart and Pederson all headed into the box in separate incidents, only to be told they had been adjudged not guilty.
Three scuffles erupted into major brawls, with Washington's Scott Stevens and Boston's John Blum tangling in a matchup of NHL heavyweights. Blum's right eye was cut, spraying blood over the sweaters of both players.
Bob Mason played the first half of the game in the Washington net, stopping 10 of 11 shots, including a breakaway by Charlie Simmer.
Earlier today, the Capitals assigned defensemen Marc Chorney and Yves Beaudoin to Binghamton of the American Hockey League. More players will be sent down following Monday night's exhibition in Hartford. Goaltender Rick St. Croix has been offered a contract and, if he accepts, will be assigned to Fort Wayne of the International Hockey League. St. Croix returned to his home in Toronto and promised a decision by Monday.