This Date in Caps History - December 20
On December 20, 1986, the Washington Capitals defeated the St. Louis Blues in front of a crowd of 11,641 at the Capital Centre.
Alan Haworth's power play tally - his 15th goal of the season - opened the scoring for Washington at 8:10 of the first period. St.Louis journeyman Greg Paslawski tied the game with a power play goal of his own at 11:07 of the opening period. That closed out the first period scoring; the Capitals launched 12 shots at St. Louis netminder Greg Millen while the Blues responded with nine against Washington's Bob Mason.
Just 44 seconds into the second period, Washington's Rod Langway netted his second - and final - goal of the season with assists going to Haworth and Craig Laughlin. Capital rookie Michal Pivonka beat Millen for his 10th goal of the season, giving Washington a 3-1 lead. Doug Evans brought the Blues to within one at 4:13 with an unassisted goal, his second of the season. Just 31 seconds later, Washington's Larry Murphy put a puck past Millen on the power play to give the Capitals a 4-2 advantage. The Caps' Greg Adams closed out the second period scoring at 10:13 with his fourth goal of the season, enabling Washington to go into the second intermission with a comfortable 5-2 lead. The Capitals managed four second period goals on 11 shots while the Blues scored once on their seven shots on net.
The only goal of the third period belonged to St. Louis. It came at 8:10 off the stick of Mark Hunter, older brother of Dale who was still employed by the Quebec Nordiques at that time. Hunter's 15th of the year came on a pass from Bernie Federko and pulled the Blues within a pair, but that was as close as they would get. The Blues outshot Washington by a healthy 14-4 margin in the third and edged the Caps 30-27 for the game.
Murphy earned first star honors with a goal and a pair of helpers. Langway was the number two star and Haworth - who also had a goal and two assists - was named the game's number three star.