WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, OCT. 30 -- Dale Hawerchuk's power-play goal at 2:15 of sudden-death overtime lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals tonight in a game with more twists and turns than a Halloween ghost house.

The decisive score, which came after Greg Adams was chased for tripping, negated a sparkling comeback by the Capitals, who tied it on goals 21 seconds apart by Dave Christian and Dale Hunter with less than four minutes left in regulation time.

"Coming back the way we did and tying it up, I was just hoping to get out of it with a tie," said Terry Murray, who ran the Capitals' bench while brother Bryan served the second of a three-game suspension. "The penalty was a good call, but it was unfortunate, because we really rallied the last half of the third period."

Just 53 seconds into the overtime, Adams was headed for the bench when he tripped Doug Smail, who was not involved in the play.

On the ensuing power play, goaltender Clint Malarchuk made a sensational glove save on Hannu Jarvenpaa's shot from 10 feet away, with the Jets waving their sticks in misguided celebration.

A few seconds later, they were jumping in justified joy. Hawerchuk started behind the Washington net from the right-wing corner and instead cut in front, sweeping the puck into the far corner.

"I was going to go around, but I saw the defenseman go to the other side and that cued me in," Hawerchuk said. "I went in front and I think I fooled Malarchuk. We've been struggling a bit and things weren't going our way, so this helps. It would have been tough if we'd let it get away."

Malarchuk said, "He was going behind, then he stopped and came back. He made a good move and it was hard to defend. He was on his forehand when he brought it out, which was to his advantage, and he shot it to the far side."

The Capitals fired 17 shots at Pokey Reddick in the third period, but they seemed headed for their first shutout in 102 games after Doug Smail converted a breakaway at 6:29 for a 2-0 Winnipeg lead.

Reddick made a fine kick save on Bengt Gustafsson and blocked a testing shot by Peter Sundstrom before Dave Christian lined up the puck in the slot -- and shattered his stick. The puck dribbled a few feet to the Jets' Pat Elynuik, who quickly whipped it forward to Smail.

"That was really frustrating," Christian said. "I felt I was going to score and the stick snapped and they get a break. But we put it to them the rest of the third period. We didn't quit."

A holding penalty to Jim Nill, who cut off Mike Gartner heading for the net, gave Washington the opportunity to get back in the game.

Eleven seconds after Nill was chased, at 16:27, Larry Murphy from the right point put a perfect pass on Christian's stick near the left post. This time the stick held up and Christian recorded his sixth goal.

Twenty-one seconds later, it was tied. Kevin Hatcher, making his first start following minor knee surgery, missed the net with a shot from the right point. Peter Sundstrom retrieved the puck behind the goalline and his centering pass was deflected into the net by Hunter.

Reddick, bidding for his first NHL shutout, had stopped the first 28 Washington shots.. For the game, the Capitals were outshot, 37-31.

"Malarchuk kept us in the game," Terry Murray said. "Winnipeg came out and played well. They were real loose because they have nothing to lose now. They're trying to turn it around {after losing four of their last five}."

The Jets moved ahead on a second-period power-play goal by Paul MacLean. Moments before, with Washington's Scott Stevens off for holding, Mike Gartner raced in on a shorthanded breakaway, to be foiled by Reddick's quick glove.

MacLean's goal ended a string of 13 extra-man failures for the Jets. Washington, one for seven against the poorest penalty-killing unit in the NHL, has clicked only twice in its last 30 chances.