On April 5, 1987 the Capitals closed out their regular season with a 6-5 overtime win against the Devils in New Jersey.
The Devils' Craig Wolanin started the scoring with his fourth of the season at 12:36 of the first. New Jersey's Claude Loiselle scored on a power play at 15:56 to make it 2-0, Devils. New Jersey held an 8-7 advantage in shots for the first frame.
Washington's Alan Haworth scored a power play goal - his 25th of the season - at 6:35 to halve the Devil cushion. New Jersey's Neil Broten answered with his 26th of the year just over a minute later, however. Greg Adams scored for Washington at 15:25 to close out the second period scoring with the Devils in front, 3-2. The Caps outshot the Devils 9-5 in the second period.
The middle frame was highlighted by a series of fights. Washington's Lou Franceschetti and Jersey's Joe Cirella duked it out in the undercard bout at 5:42. The Caps' Ed Kastelic and the Devils' Gordon Mark went at it at 7:10. The main event came just minutes later and featured Washington's Scott Stevens and New Jersey's Al Stewart. Stewart got hit with a minor for instigating and both combatants received five for fighting, five for headbutting and game misconducts. Additionally, New Jersey netminder Craig Billington was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct.
New Jersey's Greg Adams scored at 9:32 of the third to give the Devils a 4-2 lead. Larry Murphy's 23rd goal of the season brought the Caps within a goal at 12:25. Just 28 seconds later, John Blum's second of the year tied the game for Washington. The Caps took a short-lived 5-4 lead on Mike Gartner's power play goal at 16:25. The goal was Gartner's 41st of the season. Just 33 seconds after Gartner's goal, Adams scored his second of the game and 20th of the season for New Jersey to tie the score. New Jersey held a 11-8 lead in shots for the period. At the end of regulation, the teams were even in shots at 24-24 and even on the scoreboard at 5-5.
It didn't take long to resolve matters in overtime. A mere 12 seconds into the extra session, Franceschetti scored his 12th of the season to make winners of Washington and send the Caps into the playoffs on a winning note.
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