Canes And Caps Play To Tie

Jeff Halpern and James Black made Washington's fourth line look more like its first.

Halpern and Black each had a goal and an assist as the fourth line totaled five points to help the Capitals to a 3-3 tie with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

The fourth line didn't have nearly as many shifts as the others, but made good use of its time. Black scored the team's second goal with assists from Halpern and Ulf Dahlen, his first point of the season and 250th career assist. Halpern's goal gave the Capitals a 3-2 second-period lead.

"They didn't get a lot of minutes, but the times they were on the ice, they got the job done," Washington coach Ron Wilson said.

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  • Those on the first two lines had around 20 shifts, but the Halpern-Black-Dahlen trio had only 12.

    "I'm just trying to fill in wherever someone's not ready," said Halpern, a Maryland native in his rookie season. "I just kind of take my shifts and do the job I'm supposed to do."

    Halpern, who had a goal and an assist in his first 17 games before Friday night, won 10 of 16 faceoffs and had three shots and three takeaways. Black also had three shots as the line created several scoring chances.

    Carolina's Paul Coffey tied it 3-3 with 9:14 left in the third period, his first goal of the season. Coffey, the career scoring leader among NHL defensemen with 1,489 points, beat goalie Olaf Kolzig with a shot from between the faceoff circles.

    "The last couple of years, I haven't gotten the chances I've gotten before," Coffey said.

    Coffey has been a healthy scratch in 11 of the team's 19 games including the previous five. Coffey said that his elbow had bothered him during the most recent stretch.

    "It is certainly nice to see him get one," Carolina's Ron Francis said. "Especially at that point. That was a big goal for us."

    Washington played good defense and had to kill four penalties to stretch its streak to 48 chances. The Capitals haven't allowed a power-play goal in 11 games, the second-longest stretch in team and NHL history. The Capitals set the record of 12 games in 1976-77.

    Richard Zednik scored his third goal in two games to give Washington a 1-0 lead just 1:20 into the first period. Jeff O'Neill tied it, faking out Kolzig before sliding a shot under the Washington goalie at 6:42 of the period.

    The Capitals took a 2-1 lead when Black scored at 12:41 of the first period. Halpern set up the goal, spinning away from Carolina's Nolan Pratt and throwing a blind pass on net that bounced off Coffey's skate and right to Black.

    Francis tied it for Carolina, deflecting Bates Battaglia's pass in at 12:43 of the second period. Washington took a 3-2 lead on Halpern's goal with 6:39 left in the second period.

    Halpern scooped up a loose puck at the Carolina blue line and executed a slick give-and-go play with Black, and put a shot past goalie Arturs Irbe.

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