WASHINGTON – The NHL All-Star Weekend may be complete, but in the spirit of the NHL’s midseason classic WTOP counts down the top five All-Star moments in Washington Capitals history:
Feb. 5, 1993- Al Iafrate sets record with 105.2 MPH Slapshot: Capitals defenseman Al Iafrate impressed the Montreal Forum crowd at the 1993 Super Skills Competition firing a 105.2 MPH cannon to win the Hardest Shot event.
Iafrate’s record stood for 16 years before Bruins defenseman hit 105.4 MPH at the 2009 Super Skills Competition.
One day after Iafrate’s performance, his Capitals teammate Peter Bondra made his NHL All-Star Game debut. Bondra would go on to appear in a team-record five all-star games total, winning the Fastest Skater event in 1997 and 1999.
In ’93, Bondra recorded a goal and an assist as the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 16-6. Former Caps forward Mike Gartner was named the game’s MVP after scoring an all-star record four goals.
Jan. 24, 2009- Alex Ovechkin wows Bell Centre crowd: Alex Ovechkin has never shied away from the spotlight, and one of the game’s most exciting players stole the show at the Mecca of hockey in Montreal.
Ovechkin brought some swagger to the Breakaway Challenge, loading up on props before heading to the net with a pair of sticks. Among Ovechkin’s accessories was an oversized pair of sunglasses, a safari hat and a Canadian flag.
One day later, Ovechkin had a goal, two assists and the shootout deciding tally as the Eastern Conference beat the Western Conference 12-11 before an all-star record crowd of 21,273.
Feb. 12, 1985- A club-record four Capitals represent the Wales Conference: For the first time in franchise history, the Capitals had multiple players in the NHL All-Star Game.
The Caps led the Wales Conference with four players. Forwards Bob Carpenter and Mike Gartner and defensemen Rod Langway and Scott Stevens. Carpenter, Langway and Stevens were all named to the Wales Conference starting lineup by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
The Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference with Gartner becoming the first Capital to ever score in an NHL All-Star Game.
Feb. 9, 1982 – The Capitals host the 34th NHL All-Star Game: The Capitals have played host to the NHL midseason classic only once in franchise history, doing so in February 1982 at the Capital Center in Landover, Md.
A sellout crowd of 18,130 watched the Wales Conference beat the Campbell Conference 4-2. There has not been a lower scoring all-star game since. New York Islanders forward Mike Bossy was named the game’s MVP after scoring twice, including the game-winning-goal.
Capitals forward Dennis Maruk was Washington’s lone representative and received the loudest ovation during pregame introductions. Maruk finished the game with an assist.
Maruk would finish the 1981-82 NHL season third in the league with 60 goals and fourth in league scoring with 136 points.
Feb. 1, 2003 – Caps Rookie Brian Sutherby Named YoungStars Game MVP: The Caps 1st round pick from the 2000 NHL entry draft was named MVP of the 2003 NHL YoungStars Game in Sunrise, FLA. Brian Sutherby had two goals (including the game-winning goal) and an assist as the YoungStars East beat the YoungStars West 8-3.
Catch the Capitals and Lightning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Coverage begins with Caps Pregame at 7pm on Federal News Radio, WFED 1500AM and online at WFED.com.