Washington Capitals: When Dale Hunter came through in overtime

2000 Season: Craig Berube and Dale Hunter battle Eric Lindros along the boards. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)
2000 Season: Craig Berube and Dale Hunter battle Eric Lindros along the boards. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images) /

There were many great moments in Washington Capitals history. In the 1980’s it was Dale Hunter’s overtime goal that is still synonymous.

In the spring of 1988, the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers took the ice at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland for a Game 7 for the ages in the Patrick Division semifinals. Six days prior to that April 16th night, the Capitals were staring at a 3-1 series deficit on the brink of elimination.

The Caps dominated for a 5-2 win at home in Game 5 and came out of Philadelphia with a 7-2 win to set things up for this showdown. In a game of momentum shifts, just as any great hockey game would feature, the Flyers took early command thanks to a 5-on-3 power play late in the opening period.

Greg Adams was called for holding then less than two minutes later Grant Ledyard got called for both spearing and a game misconduct. At 17:36, Tim Kerr struck put the Flyers up 1-0.

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The Flyers added two more in the second period from Brian Propp and Mark Howe to put the Capitals in a 3-0 hole. Washington finally got on the board at 6:42 with a slapshot blast. Dale Hunter and Greg Adams had the assists. That goal in itself helped wake up the building.

The Capitals kept up the pressure on Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall. Hextall made a few saves but after a face-off draw, Mike Ridley came crashing toward the net, along with Kelly Miller. Miller buried the soft touch feed and it was a 3-2 game at 8:02.

It was all tied up before the second intermission. A brand new game to go into the third period. The Capitals tied it with a slapshot rocket from downtown by Kevin Hatcher.

The third period had even more drama. The Capitals got a power play when Kjell Samuelsson was called for tripping. A dump by Hatcher toward the net was played by Garry Galley. Galley looked like he was about to shoot, and he had a great look in front of the net, but instead he passed to an open Dale Hunter with an even wider-open net which he buried at 5:19.

The Flyers answered 1:02 later off the face-off with Brad Marsh tying the game. Nerves would start go grow as time ticked in the third period. The horn sounded and the game headed to overtime.

In the extra session, Hunter was stopped by Hextall. With the Flyers on the other end, Scott Stevens fought for the puck, got it to Larry Murphy and found a wide open Hunter for the breakaway. You know what happens next.

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Washington and Philadelphia, no matter the sport, is always a fun matchup and this game goes down as one of the best in the Capitals-Flyers rivalry.