On January 25, 1998 the Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins by a 4-1 score in front of 19,320 fans at MCI Center. The afternoon affair marked the debut of Washington's new third jerseys, the black sweaters with the dome logo that are currently used as the team's road jerseys.
Former Capital Anson Carter got the Bruins on the board first when he beat Washington goaltender Bill Ranford on a Boston power play at 12:03 of the first period. The Capitals knotted the score on a power play goal of their own at 16:52 of the first. Phil Housley got the goal with assistance from Peter Bondra and Adam Oates. Boston fired a dozen shots in the direction of ex-Bruin Ranford while Washington sent nine shots in the direction of ex-Capital Byron Dafoe.
The Capitals grabbed a 2-1 lead at 6:48 of the second period when Richard Zednik scored with help from Michal Pivonka and Steve Konowalchuk. Just under six minutes later Oates made it 3-1 by scoring against his former employers. Andrew Brunette and Sergei Gonchar picked up the assists on Oates's goal. Boston outshot Washington by a 12-8 count in the second period.
Boston pulled Dafoe in favor of a sixth attacker late in the third period but the ploy backfired as Peter Bondra bagged an empty-net goal at 19:08. Ranford and Joe Juneau - a pair of ex-Bruins - picked up the assists on the fourth Washington goal of the afternoon. The Bruins outshot the Caps 11-9 in the third period and 35-26 on the game.
Ranford's 34-save performance in the Washington goal made him the east choice for first star of the game. Oates's two-point effort got him the second star and Carter earned third star honors. Ironically, all three of the game's stars were involved in the same six-player trade less than a year earlier. On March 1, 1997, the Bruins sent Ranford, Oates and Rick Tocchet to Washington in exchange for Carter, Jason Allison and Jim Carey.
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