UNIONDALE, N.Y., JAN. 31 -- When Washington Capitals goalie Don Beaupre signed a new contract in September, it included several incentive clauses, but it probably did not involve stipulations for overtime pay.

It should have because lately the job has been more than 60 minutes.

Including last night's victory over the New York Islanders, Beaupre has been in goal for five of his team's last six games, and all five went into overtime. While the outcomes varied -- three wins, a loss and a tie -- Beaupre's play has been steady.

"I'm really pleased with the way he's working and his game right now," Capitals Coach Terry Murray said. "He feels strong, and it's indicated by the quality stops he's making late in the game."

Beaupre gave up just 13 goals in those five games, but with the extra minutes, his goals-against-average in those five was 2.46 (it's 2.86 overall). But his record after tonight's game was 10-12-2, a reflection of the team's fifth-place position in the Patrick Division.

"It's got to go the other way," Murray said referring to the Capitals' difficulty scoring goals. "We have to relieve some of the pressure. Four of the last five games {before the Islanders game} have been in overtime, and that's a lot of pressure on a goaltender."

Beaupre rarely loses his sense of humor. The only goal he allowed in a 2-1 overtime win in Detroit came on a weak shot by Sheldon Kennedy. Asked about the goal, Beaupre joked: "You mean that howitzer?"

Road Gets Slippery

The Capitals were a decent road team for a while, but that seems ages ago. Before tonight, they were 2-9-1 in their last 12 away from Capital Centre. Their overall road record now is 11-17-1. The team is 12-10-2 at Capital Centre, where it will play its three straight, beginning with Winnipeg Saturday. . . . The Islanders still are without goalie Mark Fitzpatrick. Late in training camp, Fitzgerald was hospitalized with eosinophilia myalgia syndrome, which involves swelling of muscles and tissues. He recently filed suit against a diet supplement company, whose product he was using. Doctors gave him permission to begin light workouts on Jan. 11, but it is uncertain when or if he will return to action.