The Washington Capitals scored eight goals last night, which is a lot for one hockey game. Yet the easiest way to describe the night center Alan Haworth had would be to talk about the goals he was not involved in.
Haworth scored twice and had three assists for five points, a club playoff record, in the 8-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Capital Centre.
The two Rangers goaltenders undoubtedly will see him in their nightmares.
How many ways can one man haunt a goaltender?
Ten minutes into the game, with no score, Haworth slid a pass to linemate Mike Gartner, who shoved the puck through goalie John Vanbiesbrouck's legs for a 1-0 Washington lead.
At the end of the first period, Haworth had his chance for a goal, but missed on a breakaway, shooting the puck too high.
"I'm oh-for-six on breakaways this year," he said later.
But he returned to see Vanbiesbrouck, and soon.
With 57 seconds remaining in the period, Haworth wound up in front of the goaltender and slapped a goal through Vanbiesbrouck's legs for a 3-0 Capitals' lead.
Haworth gave Vanbiesbrouck a break in the second period, not taking a shot as the Washington lead mounted, 5-1.
But it turns out he was just saving up for the final period. The Capitals scored three more times, and Haworth's personal statistic sheet looked like this: assist, goal, assist.
First, on a power play, he passed in front of new Rangers goaltender Glen Hanlon to Jorgen Pettersson, who slammed the puck past the startled goaltender.
"In the playoffs, an assist can sometimes be 50 times more important than a goal," Haworth said.
By this point, both were coming easily to him.
Eight minutes after Pettersson's goal, Haworth took Gartner's pass, and, as he fell to his knees to Hanlon's right, scored the Capitals' second power-