This Date in Caps History - March 25
On March 25, 1977 the Washington Capitals pummeled the New York Rangers by a 7-2 score in front of 14,160 people at the Capital Centre.
Ace Bailey got the Caps on the board first when he tallied at 5:50 of the first period with help from Bill Collins and Ron Lalonde. Washington put a dozen shots on New York netminder John Davidson in the first while the Rangers countered with eight shots on the Capitals' Roger Crozier.
Bailey scored his second of the night at 1:49 of the second to give the Caps a 2-0 cushion. Lalonde and Bob Paradise assisted on Bailey's second goal of the game. Less than two minutes later, New York's Phil Esposito had a goal waved off. Crozier took a shot to the facemask on the play and was removed from the game after suffering lacerations to his face. Backup Bernie Wolfe replaced Crozier in the Washington goal. Crozier stopped all 10 shots he saw prior to his departure.
Guy Charron ran the Washington lead to 3-0 at 12:08 of the second period with Bob Sirois getting the lone assist. Charron's goal opened up the floodgates for Washington, which went on to set a club standard by scoring five goals in a span of 9:49 beginning with Charron's marker. Gerry Meehan scored for the Caps at 12:47, assisted by Hartland Monahan and Bugsy Watson. Walt Tkachuk scored for the Rangers at 13:12 to put New York on the board but Collins scored at 13:41 to restore the Capitals' four-goal margin. Linemates Lalonde and Bailey assisted on Collins' goal. Tony White scored an unassisted goal - Washington's fifth of the second period - at 19:21 to give the Caps a 6-1 lead going into the second intermission. New York doubled up Washington in second period shots on goal, 16-8.
Just 1:57 into the third period, Collins scored his second of the game with help from Bailey and Yvon Labre to give Washington a 7-1 lead. Less than a minute after Collins' goal, Davidson was lifted from the New York nets in favor of Gilles "Grattooney the Looney" Gratton. Davidson surrendered seven goals on 28 shots before retiring for the night. Steve Vickers closed out the night's scoring when he tallied at 16:24 of the final frame to make it a 7-2 game. The Rangers outshot the Capitals 19-9 in the third period and 43-29 on the night.
With 16 penalty minutes on the night, Washington tough guy Gord Lane broke Yvon Labre's single season club mark of 182. Lane would go on to record a total of 207 PIM in 1976-77.
The Collins line swept the night's three stars. With two goals, an assist and nine of his team's 29 shots on goal, Collins was the game's first star. Bailey's two goals and two assists earned him second star honors. Lalonde had three assists, good enough for the third star.