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Kolzig wins first game back from wrist injury

11/8/2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Capitals had the look they
wanted. Olaf Kolzig was back in goal and Jaromir Jagr had a
breakaway chance in overtime.

Jagr scored a short-handed goal at 3:56 of overtime, and Kolzig
made 32 saves in his first game back from injury to lead the
Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory Thursday night over the
Florida Panthers.

"It's pretty good money that he's going to put the puck in the
net,'' Kolzig said. "There's no other guy in the league, except
other than Mario (Lemieux), that you want with the puck on a
breakaway.''

With Kip Miller in the penalty box, Jagr outraced Valeri Bure to
a clearing pass from Jeff Halpern and beat Jani Hurme on his
backhand for his eighth goal. That gave the Capitals their second
straight overtime win.

"When I turned around, I see he's got a step on me so I just
put my head down and tried to go back,'' Bure said. "I tried to
hook him, but it didn't work.''

Kolzig returned after missing five games because of a wrist
injury. He hadn't played since Washington's 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay
on Oct. 25th.

He wasn't really challenged through the first two periods, but
early in the third the Panthers started to get quality scoring
chances.

Kristian Huselius tied it 1-1 at 2:47 of the third after taking
a breakaway pass from defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, just seconds
after Peter Worrell was turned away by Kolzig on a breakaway coming
out of the penalty box.

Kolzig made his best saves in overtime, when he denied an
uncontested slap shot from Sandis Ozolinsh and made a sliding stop
on Viktor Kozlov.

"We've got a lot of good players, but I like to think Olie's
our best player,'' Halpern said. "Anytime you put a guy like that
back in the lineup, it's a huge boost. He gives us so much
confidence out there.''

Overtime has become an all-too-common occurrence for the
Panthers this season. Three of the team's five wins have been in
overtime, including a victory Tuesday night over Pittsburgh.

"We'll take the point,'' Bure said. "But when you're in a
situation to win the game, it's hard to take a loss.''

Robert Lang gave the Capitals their first lead on the team's
second shot. He one-timed a centering pass from Michael Nylander on
the power play for his fifth goal.

Lang scored the only goal for Washington when the teams met last
month in Florida.

Washington then failed on four second-period power plays, and
Hurme, who made his second start of the season, made 29 straight
saves after Lang's goal.

"Hurme stood on his head and gave them a chance to win,''
Kolzig said. "But when it counted the most, Jags put it in.''

The Capitals got another power-play chance when Ozolinsh was
called for boarding with 3:15 left in regulation. But Hurme was
able to preserve one point for the Panthers when he stopped Jagr
down low.

Game notes
To make room for Kolzig on the active roster, the Capitals
sent rookie G Sebastien Charpentier back to Portland of the AHL.
Charpentier played in four of the five games Kolzig missed going
2-1-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average. ... Florida G Roberto
Luongo was scratched, and Wade Flaherty was recalled from San
Antonio to backup Hurme. ... Washington D Brendan Witt left the
game after the first period because of a bruised shoulder.