With several teammates ill and others just struggling, Pete Peeters, Larry Murphy and Bengt Gustafsson stole a point for the Washington Capitals.
Goaltender Peeters, in his first road appearance for Washington, stopped 32 shots, including four in a five-minute overtime, as the Capitals and Vancouver Canucks played to a 4-4 tie tonight.
Murphy scored two goals and made several outstanding defensive plays. Gustafsson scored the tying goal early in the third period and set up Dave Christian for another.
The Capitals trailed by 3-1 and 4-2 but battled back to stretch their unbeaten mark in overtime play to 19 games since they were last beaten in Winnipeg on Feb. 19, 1984.
In completing this season's play against the Canucks with two victories and a tie, the Capitals extended their undefeated streak to six games and crept within six points of first-place Philadelphia in the Patrick Division.
The Capitals play at Edmonton Wednesday and the back-to-back assignment is a tough one, considering the widespread flu that reduced the efficiency of so many players tonight.
"Some of our guys were leg weary, but I really give them (the Canucks) marks the way they took it to us," said Washington Coach Bryan Murray. "They put the puck in the opposite corner and put pressure on our defense. They made us look disorganized in our end.
"Larry jumped out and did a job tonight, and when the game was on the line, Pete made the stops."
Murphy, who had played poorly in Los Angeles Saturday, said, "We'll take a point out of that one. Vancouver played a lot better than its record (now 10-19-4)."
Vancouver Coach Tom Watt started goaltender Wendell Young, who was making his NHL debut, in the hope of stirring up a team that had been struggling despite the outstanding goaltending of Richard Brodeur.
The tactic apparently worked, because the Canucks came out playing physical hockey and forechecking well to grab a 2-1 lead in the first period.
Young, a teammate of Capital Scott Stevens with Kitchener's 1982 Memorial Cup champions, stopped the first shot that came his way, by Murphy. He lost sight of the puck, however, and while it lay in front of the net, Murphy swept in to sink the rebound for his eighth goal at 5:25.
Eleven seconds later, it was even when Marc Crawford beat Peeters from close range.
The Canucks broke through the NHL's No. 1 penalty-killing unit to take the lead, after Washington's Kevin Hatcher was chased for interference when he checked Crawford while the Canuck was going after the puck. Moe Lemay deflected Doug Halward's drive from the right point at 15:51 for his 10th goal.
The Canucks added two extra-man scores in the second period and led, 4-3, at the intermission as penalties proved costly to Washington. Patrik Sundstrom scored both Vancouver goals, the first at 3:08 with Bob Carpenter in the penalty box for hooking Rick Lanz in the Vancouver end.
Young made excellent stops on Jorgen Pettersson and Greg Adams before Murphy reduced the deficit to 3-2 at 7:14.
After Lou Franceschetti was chased for interference, Sundstrom scored again at 13:33 for a 4-2 Vancouver lead.
Washington finally got a power-play chance, its third of the game, when Jean-Marc Lanthier hooked Mike Gartner 78 seconds before the end of the period. The power play clicked as Christian broke free in the slot and converted a perfect pass from Gustafsson at 19:24 for his 18th goal, 12th on the power play.
Gustafsson pulled Washington even at 4-4 at 2:01 of the third period, lining a shot off Young's stick into the net. Islanders 7, Sabres 3
Pat LaFontaine scored twice and Mike Bossy had a goal and three assists as New York won at home. Devils 7, Flyers 4
Greg Adams scored two goals and Paul Gagne furnished a goal and two assists as New Jersey had a club-record five-goal first period at home. Penguins 4, Flames 3
In Pittsburgh, Mike Bullard scored two goals and a 4-0 lead proved just enough to withstand a Calgary rally. North Stars 6, Red Wings 3
Keith Acton scored two goals in Minnesota's home victory. Blues 8, Jets 6
In St. Louis, Joe Mullen's second goal of the game with just under eight minutes remaining blunted a Winnipeg rally.