Seen and heard yesterday at MCI Center:
ANNIVERSARY NOTED Sixteen years to the day after Kelly Miller joined the Caps, defenseman Calle Johansson tied the forward’s long-standing record of 940 games played with the team. Johansson will break the record with his next game, probably tomorrow night against Columbus.
On Jan. 1, 1987, general manager David Poile sent disgruntled center Bobby Carpenter to the New York Rangers for Miller, Mike Ridley and Bob Crawford. Miller and Ridley became Washington institutions, while Carpenter never recaptured the magic that once propelled him to a 53-goal season.
Johansson is in his 15th Caps season and 17th in the league (he was drafted 14th in the first round by Buffalo in 1985). He is one of just five Caps who have played every game this season; this was No.1,058th of his NHL career.
DANGEROUS? Some fans are complaining about what they say is a dangerous situation near MCI Center when the temperature dips below freezing. They point to at least two streams of water bubbling continuously 6 to 8 inches high through cracks in the pavement at the corner of Sixth and F streets NW, the source apparently broken pipes underground.
“When it’s cold or at night, the whole area freezes and it’s dangerous trying to walk across the street to get your car,” a woman said, carrying one child and holding another’s hand.
An MCI employee said the water has been running continuously for about a month. The city has been notified numerous times, he said, but nothing has been done.
“They haven’t done anything about the fire plug, either,” the employee said, pointing to where a missing hydrant had been outside the freight entrance that appears to have been sheared off.
CHARITY GAME The Secret Service will play the FBI at 5p.m. Saturday at Reston Skatequest. The first 300 children will receive a miniature police cruiser. Tickets are $5 with all proceeds going to the Linda Franklin Fund in memory of the FBI employee who was one of the sniper victims.
NOTES Peter Bondra missed the game with the flu. Glen Metropolit, who had been a healthy scratch for nine of the last 10 games, got a chance to play. Defenseman Rick Berry also got some ice time after being a healthy scratch in three straight games. That left J.F. Fortin as the only healthy scratch for Washington. The Caps are now 12-5-2 on New Year’s Day. Caps defenseman Alex Henry took on Darcy Hordichuk early in the first period and came away with a lopsided TKO.