1997–98 Washington Capitals season

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1997–98 Washington Capitals
Eastern Conference champions
Division 3rd Atlantic
Conference 4th Eastern
1997–98 record 40–30–12
Home record 23–12–6
Road record 17–18–6
Goals for 219
Goals against 202
Team information
General Manager George McPhee
Coach Ron Wilson
Captain Dale Hunter
Team leaders
Goals Peter Bondra (52)
Assists Adam Oates (58)
Points Peter Bondra (78)

The 1997–98 Washington Capitals season saw the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in club history. Peter Bondra's 52 goals led the team; veterans Dale Hunter, Joe Juneau and Adam Oates returned to old form; and Olaf Kolzig had a solid .920 save percentage as the Caps got past the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres (the latter on a dramatic overtime win in Game 6 on a goal by Joe Juneau) en route to the team's first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. The Capitals won six overtime games, three in each of their series against the Bruins and Sabres. However, they were no match for the defending cup champs, the Detroit Red Wings, who won in a four-game sweep.

After this season, none of Washington's "big four" professional sports team would ever make the semi-final playoff round until the Capitals themselves returned to the Conference finals in 2018. The WNBA's Washington Mystics reached the semifinals in 2002 and 2017, but never reached the WNBA Finals. Finally, after 20 years, the Capitals returned to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in franchise history and won their first Stanley Cup.

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

  • Adam Oates, Phil Housley and Dale Hunter, all scored their 1,000th career point, the only time in NHL history that one team had three different players reach that same milestone in a single season.

The Capitals had a very effective penalty kill during the regular season, allowing the fewest power-play goals (39) and finishing with the highest penalty-kill percentage (89.23%).[1]

Season standings[edit]

Atlantic Division
No. GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 New Jersey Devils 82 48 23 11 225 166 107
2 Philadelphia Flyers 82 42 29 11 242 193 95
3 Washington Capitals 82 40 30 12 219 202 92
4 New York Islanders 82 30 41 11 212 225 71
5 New York Rangers 82 25 39 18 197 231 68
6 Florida Panthers 82 24 43 15 203 256 63
7 Tampa Bay Lightning 82 17 55 10 151 269 44
Eastern Conference[2]
R Div GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 New Jersey Devils ATL 82 48 23 11 225 166 107
2 Pittsburgh Penguins NE 82 40 24 18 228 188 98
3 Philadelphia Flyers ATL 82 42 29 11 242 193 95
4 Washington Capitals ATL 82 40 30 12 219 202 92
5 Boston Bruins NE 82 39 30 13 221 194 91
6 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 36 29 17 211 187 89
7 Montreal Canadiens NE 82 37 32 13 235 208 87
8 Ottawa Senators NE 82 34 33 15 193 200 83
9 Carolina Hurricanes NE 82 33 41 8 200 219 74
10 New York Islanders ATL 82 30 41 11 212 225 71
11 New York Rangers ATL 82 25 39 18 197 231 68
12 Florida Panthers ATL 82 24 43 15 203 256 63
13 Tampa Bay Lightning ATL 82 17 55 10 151 269 44

Divisions: ATL – Atlantic, NE – Northeast

bold – Qualified for playoffs


Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 W October 1, 1997 4–1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1997–98) 1–0–0
2 W October 3, 1997 6–2 Buffalo Sabres (1997–98) 2–0–0
3 W October 4, 1997 4–1 New Jersey Devils (1997–98) 3–0–0
4 W October 8, 1997 6–3 @ New York Islanders (1997–98) 4–0–0
5 L October 9, 1997 2–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1997–98) 4–1–0
6 W October 11, 1997 3–1 New York Islanders (1997–98) 5–1–0
7 W October 15, 1997 2–0 @ Chicago Blackhawks (1997–98) 6–1–0
8 W October 24, 1997 3–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1997–98) 7–1–0
9 L October 22, 1997 3–4 @ Colorado Avalanche (1997–98) 7–2–0
10 T October 23, 1997 3–3 OT @ Phoenix Coyotes (1997–98) 7–2–1
11 L October 25, 1997 2–5 @ St. Louis Blues (1997–98) 7–3–1
12 L October 29, 1997 3–4 Dallas Stars (1997–98) 7–4–1
13 T October 31, 1997 2–2 OT Philadelphia Flyers (1997–98) 7–4–2
14 L November 1, 1997 1–3 @ New Jersey Devils (1997–98) 7–5–2
15 W November 4, 1997 2–1 Vancouver Canucks (1997–98) 8–5–2
16 L November 6, 1997 0–2 @ Boston Bruins (1997–98) 8–6–2
17 W November 8, 1997 2–1 Edmonton Oilers (1997–98) 9–6–2
18 L November 9, 1997 2–3 @ Florida Panthers (1997–98) 9–7–2
19 W November 12, 1997 4–1 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1997–98) 10–7–2
20 W November 13, 1997 3–2 @ Buffalo Sabres (1997–98) 11–7–2
21 W November 15, 1997 3–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1997–98) 12–7–2
22 T November 18, 1997 6–6 OT Colorado Avalanche (1997–98) 12–7–3
23 L November 22, 1997 2–5 San Jose Sharks (1997–98) 12–8–3
24 W November 23, 1997 5–2 @ Florida Panthers (1997–98) 13–8–3
25 L November 26, 1997 5–6 Montreal Canadiens (1997–98) 13–9–3
26 L November 27, 1997 1–3 @ Ottawa Senators (1997–98) 13–10–3
27 T November 29, 1997 1–1 OT @ Boston Bruins (1997–98) 13–10–4
28 W December 2, 1997 3–2 OT @ New York Rangers (1997–98) 14–10–4
29 W December 5, 1997 3–2 OT Florida Panthers (1997–98) 15–10–4
30 L December 7, 1997 4–5 @ Florida Panthers (1997–98) 15–11–4
31 T December 10, 1997 3–3 OT @ San Jose Sharks (1997–98) 15–11–5
32 L December 12, 1997 4–6 @ Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1997–98) 15–12–5
33 T December 13, 1997 2–2 OT @ Los Angeles Kings (1997–98) 15–12–6
34 T December 16, 1997 2–2 OT New York Islanders (1997–98) 15–12–7
35 L December 18, 1997 0–4 Florida Panthers (1997–98) 15–13–7
36 W December 20, 1997 2–1 @ Carolina Hurricanes (1997–98) 16–13–7
37 T December 23, 1997 1–1 OT New Jersey Devils (1997–98) 16–13–8
38 L December 26, 1997 1–4 Pittsburgh Penguins (1997–98) 16–14–8
39 L December 27, 1997 0–3 Ottawa Senators (1997–98) 16–15–8
40 W December 29, 1997 4–2 St. Louis Blues (1997–98) 17–15–8
41 W January 1, 1998 3–2 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1997–98) 18–15–8
42 L January 3, 1998 2–3 New York Rangers (1997–98) 18–16–8
43 W January 6, 1998 5–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1997–98) 19–16–8
44 W January 8, 1998 5–3 @ New York Rangers (1997–98) 20–16–8
45 W January 9, 1998 4–1 Philadelphia Flyers (1997–98) 21–16–8
46 L January 11, 1998 0–2 @ Detroit Red Wings (1997–98) 21–17–8
47 W January 13, 1998 4–0 Ottawa Senators (1997–98) 22–17–8
48 W January 15, 1998 3–2 Chicago Blackhawks (1997–98) 23–17–8
49 W January 21, 1998 3–2 OT @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1997–98) 24–17–8
50 W January 25, 1998 4–1 Boston Bruins (1997–98) 25–17–8
51 T January 26, 1998 2–2 OT @ New York Rangers (1997–98) 25–17–9
52 T January 28, 1998 2–2 OT Pittsburgh Penguins (1997–98) 25–17–10
53 W January 31, 1998 3–2 OT @ Philadelphia Flyers (1997–98) 26–17–10
54 L February 1, 1998 2–4 Detroit Red Wings (1997–98) 26–18–10
55 T February 4, 1998 2–2 OT @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1997–98) 26–18–11
56 L February 7, 1998 3–4 Tampa Bay Lightning (1997–98) 26–19–11
57 L February 25, 1998 3–4 Tampa Bay Lightning (1997–98) 26–20–11
58 L February 28, 1998 2–5 @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1997–98) 26–21–11
59 L March 1, 1998 0–3 Buffalo Sabres (1997–98) 26–22–11
60 L March 3, 1998 0–3 Boston Bruins (1997–98) 26–23–11
61 L March 5, 1998 2–3 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1997–98) 26–24–11
62 W March 7, 1998 6–3 Florida Panthers (1997–98) 27–24–11
63 W March 9, 1998 5–2 Calgary Flames (1997–98) 28–24–11
64 W March 12, 1998 2–1 @ New York Islanders (1997–98) 29–24–11
65 L March 14, 1998 0–4 @ Ottawa Senators (1997–98) 29–25–11
66 W March 16, 1998 2–1 Phoenix Coyotes (1997–98) 30–25–11
67 W March 18, 1998 1–0 Carolina Hurricanes (1997–98) 31–25–11
68 W March 20, 1998 2–0 New Jersey Devils (1997–98) 32–25–11
69 L March 21, 1998 2–3 @ New Jersey Devils (1997–98) 32–26–11
70 L March 25, 1998 2–4 @ Edmonton Oilers (1997–98) 32–27–11
71 L March 26, 1998 2–3 @ Calgary Flames (1997–98) 32–28–11
72 W March 28, 1998 3–2 @ Vancouver Canucks (1997–98) 33–28–11
73 W March 31, 1998 5–2 New York Islanders (1997–98) 34–28–11
74 W April 2, 1998 4–1 Tampa Bay Lightning (1997–98) 35–28–11
75 W April 4, 1998 3–2 Los Angeles Kings (1997–98) 36–28–11
76 T April 6, 1998 2–2 OT Montreal Canadiens (1997–98) 36–28–12
77 L April 8, 1998 1–2 OT @ Dallas Stars (1997–98) 36–29–12
78 L April 11, 1998 3–4 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1997–98) 36–30–12
79 W April 13, 1998 2–0 @ New York Islanders (1997–98) 37–30–12
80 W April 14, 1998 3–1 New York Rangers (1997–98) 38–30–12
81 W April 18, 1998 4–3 @ Carolina Hurricanes (1997–98) 39–30–12
82 W April 19, 1998 2–1 Carolina Hurricanes (1997–98) 40–30–12

Playoffs[edit]

Eastern Conference Quarter-finals[edit]

Boston vs. Washington
Date Away Home
April 22 Boston 1 3 Washington
April 24 Boston 4 3 Washington 2OT
April 26 Washington 3 2 Boston 2OT
April 28 Washington 3 0 Boston
May 1 Boston 4 0 Washington
May 3 Washington 3 2 Boston OT
Washington wins series 4–2

Eastern Conference Semi-finals[edit]

Ottawa vs. Washington
Date Away Home
May 7 Ottawa 2 4 Washington
May 9 Ottawa 1 6 Washington
May 11 Washington 3 4 Ottawa
May 13 Washington 2 0 Ottawa
May 15 Ottawa 0 3 Washington
Washington win series 4–1

Eastern Conference Finals[edit]

Buffalo vs. Washington
Date Away Home
May 23 Buffalo 2 0 Washington
May 25 Buffalo 2 3 Washington OT
May 28 Washington 4 3 Buffalo OT
May 30 Washington 2 0 Buffalo
June 2 Buffalo 2 1 Washington
June 4 Washington 3 2 Buffalo OT
Washington wins series 4–2
and Prince of Wales Trophy

Stanley Cup Finals[edit]

Washington vs. Detroit
Date Away Home
June 9 Washington 1 2 Detroit
June 11 Washington 4 5 Detroit OT
June 13 Detroit 2 1 Washington
June 16 Detroit 4 1 Washington
Detroit wins series 4–0
and Stanley Cup
Steve Yzerman (Detroit)
wins Conn Smythe Trophy

Player statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM +/- PPG SHG GWG
Peter Bondra RW 76 52 26 78 44 14 11 5 13
Adam Oates C 82 18 58 76 36 6 3 2 3
Calle Johansson D 73 15 20 35 30 -11 10 1 1
Steve Konowalchuk LW 80 10 24 34 80 9 2 0 2
Joe Juneau C 56 9 22 31 26 -8 4 1 1
Phil Housley D 64 6 25 31 24 -10 4 1 0
Richard Zednik RW 65 17 9 26 28 -2 2 0 2
Dale Hunter C 82 8 18 26 103 1 0 0 1
Andrew Brunette LW 28 11 12 23 12 2 4 0 2
Sergei Gonchar D 72 5 16 21 66 2 2 0 0
Mark Tinordi D 47 8 9 17 39 9 0 1 0
Chris Simon LW 28 7 10 17 38 -1 4 0 1
Andrei Nikolishin C 38 6 10 16 14 1 1 0 1
Jan Bulis C 48 5 11 16 18 -5 0 0 0
Sylvain Cote D 59 1 15 16 36 -5 0 0 0
Craig Berube LW 74 6 9 15 189 -3 0 0 0
Kelly Miller LW 76 7 7 14 41 -2 0 3 3
Todd Krygier LW 45 2 12 14 30 -3 0 0 1
Esa Tikkanen LW 20 2 10 12 2 -4 1 0 2
Joe Reekie D 68 2 8 10 70 15 0 0 1
Brian Bellows LW 11 6 3 9 6 -3 5 0 2
Michal Pivonka C 33 3 6 9 20 5 0 0 1
Brendan Witt D 64 1 7 8 112 -11 0 0 0
Jeff Toms C 33 3 4 7 8 -11 0 0 1
Ken Klee D 51 4 2 6 46 -3 0 0 1
Jeff Brown D 9 0 6 6 6 4 0 0 0
Jaroslav Svejkovsky RW 17 4 1 5 10 -5 2 0 1
Mike Eagles C/LW 36 1 3 4 16 -2 0 0 0
Jan Benda C 9 0 3 3 6 1 0 0 0
Nolan Baumgartner D 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Benoit Gratton C 6 0 1 1 6 1 0 0 0
Olaf Kolzig G 64 0 1 1 12 0 0 0 0
Bill Ranford G 22 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Brad Church LW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
David Harlock D 6 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 0
Dwayne Hay LW 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Stewart Malgunas D 8 0 0 0 12 1 0 0 0
Ryan Mulhern C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pat Peake C 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L T GA GAA SO SA SV SV%
Olaf Kolzig 3788 64 33 18 10 139 2.20 5 1729 1590 .920
Bill Ranford 1183 22 7 12 2 55 2.79 0 555 500 .901
Team: 4971 82 40 30 12 194 2.34 5 2284 2090 .915

Playoffs[edit]

Scoring
Player Pos GP G A Pts PIM PPG SHG GWG
Joe Juneau C 21 7 10 17 8 1 1 4
Adam Oates C 21 6 11 17 8 1 1 1
Andrei Nikolishin C 21 1 13 14 12 1 0 0
Brian Bellows LW 21 6 7 13 6 2 0 1
Peter Bondra RW 17 7 5 12 12 3 0 2
Sergei Gonchar D 21 7 4 11 30 3 1 2
Richard Zednik RW 17 7 3 10 16 2 0 0
Calle Johansson D 21 2 8 10 16 0 0 0
Esa Tikkanen LW 21 3 3 6 20 1 0 0
Phil Housley D 18 0 4 4 4 0 0 0
Dale Hunter C 21 0 4 4 30 0 0 0
Todd Krygier LW 13 1 2 3 6 0 0 1
Joe Reekie D 21 1 2 3 20 0 0 0
Mark Tinordi D 21 1 2 3 42 0 0 0
Michal Pivonka C 13 0 3 3 0 0 0 0
Jeff Brown D 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 0
Mike Eagles C/LW 12 0 2 2 2 0 0 0
Craig Berube LW 21 1 0 1 21 0 0 1
Ken Klee D 9 1 0 1 10 0 0 0
Chris Simon LW 18 1 0 1 26 0 0 0
Brendan Witt D 16 1 0 1 14 0 0 0
Kelly Miller LW 10 0 1 1 4 0 0 0
Olaf Kolzig G 21 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
Jaroslav Svejkovsky RW 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Jeff Toms C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Goaltending
Player MIN GP W L GA GAA SO SA SV SV%
Olaf Kolzig 1351 21 12 9 44 1.95 4 740 696 .941
Team: 1351 21 12 9 44 1.95 4 740 696 .941

[3]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/- = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes; PPG=Power-play goals; SHG=Short-handed goals; GWG=Game-winning goals
      MIN=Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals Against; GAA = Goals Against Average; SO = Shutouts; SA=Shots Against; SV=Shots saved; SV% = Save Percentage;

Awards & records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

Final[4]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
38 Canada Nolan Baumgartner D R 22 1994 Calgary, Alberta
23 Canada Brian Bellows RW R 33 1998 St. Catherines, Ontario
28 Belgium Jan Benda C R 26 1998 Reet, Belgium
27 Canada Craig Berube LW L 32 1993 Calahoo, Alberta
12 Slovakia Peter Bondra RW L 30 1990 Lutsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
28 Canada Jeff Brown D R 32 1998 Ottawa, Ontario
18 Canada Andrew Brunette LW L 24 1993 Sudbury, Ontario
8 Czech Republic Jan Bulis C L 20 1996 Pardubice, Czechoslovakia
25 Canada Brad Church LW L 21 1995 Dauphin, Manitoba
3 Canada Sylvain Cote D R 32 1991 Quebec City, Quebec
36 Canada Mike Eagles RW L 35 1995 Sussex, New Brunswick
55 Russia Sergei Gonchar D L 24 1992 Chelyabinsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
48 Canada Benoit Gratton C L 21 1995 Montreal, Quebec
43 Canada David Harlock D L 27 1997 Toronto, Ontario
42 Canada Dwayne Hay LW L 21 1995 London, Ontario
96 United States Phil Housley D L 34 1996 St. Paul, Minnesota
32 Canada Dale Hunter (C) C L 37 1987 Petrolia, Ontario
6 Sweden Calle Johansson D L 31 1989 Gothenburg, Sweden
90 Canada Joe Juneau C L 30 1994 Pont-Rouge, Quebec
2 United States Ken Klee D R 27 1990 Indianapolis, Indiana
37 Germany Olaf Kolzig G L 28 1989 Johannesburg, South Africa
22 United States Steve Konowalchuk LW L 25 1991 Salt Lake City, Utah
9 United States Todd Krygier RW L 32 1991 Chicago Heights, Illinois
4 Canada Stewart Malgunas D L 28 1996 Prince George, British Columbia
10 United States Kelly Miller RW L 35 1987 Lansing, Michigan
26 United States Ryan Mulhern C R 25 1997 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
13 Russia Andrei Nikolishin C L 25 1996 Vorkuta, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
77 Canada Adam Oates C R 35 1997 Weston, Ontario
14 United States Pat Peake RW R 25 1991 Rochester, Michigan
20 Czech Republic Michal Pivonka C L 32 1984 Kladno, Czechoslovakia
30 Canada Bill Ranford G L 31 1997 Brandon, Manitoba
29 Canada Joe Reekie D L 33 1994 Victoria, British Columbia
17 Canada Chris Simon LW L 26 1996 Wawa, Ontario
34 Czech Republic Jaroslav Svejkovsky RW R 21 1996 Plzen, Czechoslovakia
11 Finland Esa Tikkanen LW L 33 1998 Helsinki, Finland
24 Canada Mark Tinordi D L 32 1995 Red Deer, Alberta
21 Canada Jeff Toms C L 24 1997 Swift Current, Saskatchewan
19 Canada Brendan Witt D L 23 1993 Humboldt, Saskatchewan
44 Slovakia Richard Zednik RW L 22 1994 Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia

Draft picks[edit]

Below are the Washington Capitals' selections at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, held on June 21, 1997 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[5]

Round # Player Pos Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
1 9 Nick Boynton D  Canada Ottawa 67's (OHL)
2 35 Jean-François Fortin D  Canada Sherbrooke Faucons (QMJHL)
4 89 Curtis Cruickshank G  Canada Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
5 116 Kevin Caulfield RW  United States Boston College (NCAA)
6 143 Henrik Petre D  Sweden Djurgårdens-jr. (Allsvenskan)
8 200 Pierre-Luc Therrien G  Canada Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
9 226 Matt Oikawa RW  Canada St. Lawrence University (NCAA)

Farm teams[edit]

Portland Pirates

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1998.html
  2. ^ "1997–1998 Conference Standings". National Hockey League. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "1997-98 Washington Capitals Statistics - Hockey-Reference.com". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
  4. ^ "1997-98 Washington Capitals Roster and Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com.
  5. ^ "1997 NHL Draft". NHL. Retrieved July 20, 2017.