On December 12, 1974, the Washington Capitals stormed back from a 6-3 third period deficit to earn a 6-6 tie against the New York Rangers in front of 9,089 spectators at the Capital Centre.
Washington defenseman Bill Mikkelson opened the scoring with a power play goal at 10:12 of the first period. New York's classy center Jean Ratelle knotted the score just over a minute later while the Rangers were on a power play of their own. At 14:14 of the first, Brad Park gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead when he beat Washington's Michel Belhumeur. With 1:14 left in the period, the Rangers' Derek Sanderson scored to give New York a 3-1 first period lead. The Rangers held a slim 12-11 advantage in shots for the first frame.
Washington's Steve Atkinson scored at 3:25 of the second to enable the Caps to close to within a goal. Denis Dupere scored at 10:30 of the second to even the score at 3-3, but the Rangers scored three times within 5:05 late in the second period to open up a 6-3 advantage over the fledgling Capitals, who entered the game with a 2-23-3 record in their maiden NHL season. Ted Irvine scored the fourth New York goal and Rod Gilbert scored the next two, both on the powerplay and both assisted by Ratelle and Steve Vickers. The Rangers outshot Washington 13-8 in the second period.
Mike Marson scored for Washington at 5:10 of the third period. Exactly four minutes later, Atkinson's second of the game pulled the Caps to within one.With less than four minutes remaining in the game, Washington's Jim Hrycuik scored an unassisted goal against Rangers' netminder Gilles Villemure. Two months earlier, Hrycuik had scored the first goal in team history against the Rangers in New York.
The clubs each managed 11 shots on goal in the third. The Rangers held a 36-30 advantage on the night.
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