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Jagr's goal and assist powers Caps to win

10/23/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr didn't bring much with him on the
road.

Whatever he had was more than enough to dispatch of the New York
Rangers in the midst of the Washington Capitals' eight-game road
trip.

"I felt like somebody stole my legs,'' a tired Jagr said after
the Capitals beat the Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night.

Jagr had a goal and an assist in the second period, and goalie
Olaf Kolzig shook off a shot near his neck as the Capitals improved
to 3-2 on their long journey that began after an opening-night
victory.

After a loss in Dallas on Sunday, the Capitals made a quick stop
back in Washington before they headed to New York on Tuesday.

"It always helps. Especially for me because I didn't have to
pack too much stuff,'' Jagr said. "That's the way I like it.''

Jagr, a longtime member of the Pittsburgh Penguins -- New York's
division rival -- continued his fine production against the Rangers
in his 53rd game against them. He has 26 goals and 48 assists in
his career against New York.

Jagr set up Steve Konowalchuk's first goal of the season that
gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead, and then scored his fifth on the
power play just over 6 minutes later to make it a two-goal
advantage.

"We were kind of struggling in the first and Coach came into
the locker room and sent the message that we've got to start
working, and that's what we did,'' forward Peter Bondra said.

New York got to 2-1 on Matthew Barnaby's second goal, during a
delayed-penalty call, 54 seconds after Jagr's score. The Rangers
fell to 2-4-2 overall, 1-3-1 at home where they've scored 11 goals
-- only six in the losses.

"We were pleased with the effort, but we cannot accept
defeat,'' Barnaby said. "If we play like that every night, we'll
win more than we lose.''

The Rangers peppered Kolzig, who has played in all six Capitals
games, with 16 shots during a scoreless first period.

"We were fortunate to be 0-0 after the first,'' Kolzig said.
"We regrouped, we played great in the second period. I thought the
third period was one of our better periods of the year.

"We really didn't give them too much and we really frustrated
them. That's the way we need to play right out of the gate.''

Bobby Holik almost put a drive through Kolzig with 5:38 left in
the second with a shot from the right side that caught Kolzig on
the collarbone. The area was still bright red after the game.

Kolzig was stunned, but managed to keep his focus until play
stopped seconds later. When the whistle blew, Kolzig turned around
and leaned on the crossbar for support.

"Ask any goalie, when they get a shot on the collarbone your
arm goes numb for a second and it's a heck of a stinger,'' he said.

Just over 3 minutes later, Kolzig gave up Barnaby's goal --
ripped from the right circle. Kolzig finished with 31 saves.

"It was one of those shots, he just put it in the perfect
spot,'' Kolzig said. "But we still had the 2-1 lead and it was my
job to keep it that way.''

Jagr helped the Capitals to the lead with a hardworking shift in
which he drove defenseman Dale Purinton ragged. Jagr kept the puck
in the zone by making hard cuts back and forth along the right
side.

"I didn't feel very well in skating,'' Jagr said. "I tried to
change my game in the second period, tried to go to the boards a
little more.''

Late in the shift, Jagr had the puck behind the Rangers net --
drawing both Purinton and fellow defenseman Vladimir Malakhov to
him.

Jagr made a quick pass out front to an unchecked Konowalchuk,
who beat Mike Richter at 8:10 of the second. Jagr extended the lead
to 2-0 at 16:37 with a goal from the right side that Richter said
struck a skate in front and changed direction.

New York went 0-for-2 on the power play in the scoreless third
period.

"We're running out of opportunities to be pleased with the
effort,'' Holik said. "The result wasn't there.''

Game notes
The game featured the two longest current pairs of
teammates in the NHL. Rangers D Brian Leetch and Richter have
played together for 14 straight full seasons. D Calle Johansson and
RW Peter Bondra are in their 13 straight full season with
Washington. ... LW Chris Simon was demoted from Washington's top
line because coach Bruce Cassidy grew tired of his rash of
penalties. Simon, who assisted on Jagr's goal, has taken a penalty
in every game this season. ... The Capitals return home Oct. 30
against Boston.