The Washington Capitals are glad they have seen the last of Winnipeg until next season.
Winter officially arrived today, yet Winnipeg already had suffered through 27 days of below-zero temperatures (Fahrenheit), reaching a numbing 31 below on Nov. 30.
On the indoor ice surface, the Winnipeg Jets have been cold, too, except when the Capitals come to town. Friday night, the Jets scored five goals in the last eight minutes to beat Washington, 7-4.
It was the second time the Capitals, the only NHL team to yield fewer than 100 goals this season (97), had been touched for more than five goals in a game. The other occasion was a 7-7 tie in Winnipeg Oct. 25.
"I hear all the media types in Winnipeg complaining about the Jets, but they always seem to play well against us," said Coach Bryan Murray. "Every time we play them, it's a real battle. I have to wonder if some of the stories aren't exaggerated."
During Friday's game, center Alan Haworth crashed into the boards and left with a bruised right knee, and center Bob Carpenter took a puck in the right ankle and missed several shifts. Both hoped today they would be able to play here against the Nordiques Sunday afternoon.
"If I can get my leg unstiffed, I'll play tomorrow," said Haworth, who was hobbling through airports today. "The knee feels fine, but the muscle above the knee is really tight."
When Murray asked Haworth if it was necessary to call up a minor league player to replace him, Haworth said, "I don't think so."
Carpenter hasn't missed a game since he entered the NHL in 1981, so it is safe to assume that if he can get his right foot inside his skate boot, he will play Sunday. He said today that the swelling had gone down considerably.
Gaetan Duchesne, Craig Laughlin, Bengt Gustafsson and Larry Murphy scored for the Capitals Friday. That gave Murphy five goals in the last five games and his short-handed goal gave Washington eight for the season. The Capitals are the only NHL team that has not yielded any.
Goaltender Pete Peeters was beaten six times in 31 shots, with the final Winnipeg goal coming into an empty net. Peeters looked bad on two, a first-period backhander by Paul MacLean and a 45-footer by Dale Hawerchuk that put the Jets up, 4-3, in the third period.
"There were a couple of goals I'd have to question," Murray said. "Obviously, those are things we can't afford. But Pete has been playing so well for us, I'm not going to be upset by one game."
Al Jensen, who has never beaten Quebec, will be in goal Sunday. He had never defeated Edmonton until this season and already has two victories over the Oilers. Jensen is unbeaten in his last 10 games.