On November 28, 1990, the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Rangers by a 6-3 count at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Former Capital Mike Gartner started the scoring for New York at 10:02 of the first period with his 12th goal of the season. At 15:48, Washington’s Peter Bondra evened up the score when he beat Blueshirts netminder Mike Richter for his seventh goal of the season. Michal Pivonka and Kelly Miller picked up helpers on the Bondra goal. The Caps had 11 shots on Richter in the first period while New York countered with just five against Capitals’ goaltender Mike Liut.
New York’s Brian Leetch was in the penalty box at the start of the second period and Washington wasted no time in making the Rangers pay for their defenseman’s transgressions. At the 21-second mark, Bondra took a pass from Kevin Hatcher and netted his second of the game. The power play goal gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead. Washington extended that advantage at 10:17 when Bob Rouse scored a power play goal. Rouse’s tally – his fourth of the year – came on assists from Dale Hunter and Pivonka. The Rangers outshot the Caps by an 11-6 margin in the second period.
Just 44 seconds into the third period, rookie Bondra completed his first career hat trick with assists from Pivonka and Miller. At 5:04 of the third, Washington’s Stephen leach scored the team’s third power play goal of the game and his sixth goal of the season. Leach’s goal gave the Caps a 5-1 lead. Bondra and Hatcher picked up assists. At 7:32, Pivonka scored Washington’s sixth unanswered goal, his eighth of the season. Hatcher and Hunter assisted on Pivonka’s goal. Ray Sheppard scored for the Rangers at 9:19 to make it 6-2 and Gartner scored his second of the game at 12:27 to close out the scoring. Gartner’s second goal was a shorthanded tally. The Caps outshot New York by a 15-5 count in the third and 32-21 on the night.
Bondra’s hat trick and four-point performance was enough to earn him the first star designation. Pivonka had a goal and three assists to garner the second star. Hunter’s two assists got him the game’s third star.
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