Kolzig makes 35 saves in return


DENVER (AP) -- Although he hadn't played since Dec. 3 because of
a groin injury, it was as if Olaf Kolzig had never been away.

Kolzig came off the injured list and made 35 saves Monday night
as the Washington Capitals salvaged a 2-2 tie with the Colorado

''This wasn't a bad return,'' Kolzig said. ''I thought I played

Teammate Jaromir Jagr agreed.

''He hadn't practiced much, it was his first game back and he
was unbelievable,'' Jagr said. ''He was sharp. He keeps us in

Capitals coach Bruce Cassidy said his team ''started running out
of gas on the blue line in the third period, but Olie kept us in
there. You need that on the road. The goaltender has to be good.''

Jagr and Jeff Halpern had goals for the Capitals. Steven
Reinprecht and Milan Hejduk scored for Colorado.

It was Colorado's 14th overtime game this season and NHL-leading
ninth tie.

Colorado was without two of its stars, Joe Sakic and
Peter Forsberg, scratched because of ankle and neck injuries,

Kolzig, who had missed the previous four games with a groin
injury, had big saves in both the scoreless third period and

Midway through the third period, he stopped Radim Vrbata from
the slot after he took a perfect pass from Reinprecht. Kolzig also
stopped Alex Tanguay from the right circle in overtime.

Colorado's Derek Morris hit the right post in the third period.

Washington had a power play for the last 1:23 of overtime but
couldn't convert.

Patrick Roy had 23 saves for Colorado.

''We had a solid game tonight,'' Roy said. ''Kolzig made some
great saves. It's too bad. We deserved a lot better than a tie. We
had good chances, and I thought we were sharp.''

Avalanche coach Bob Hartley praised what he called a ''big team
effort. When you don't have your top two scorers in the lineup, you
have to do it as a team. No one is going to replace those two

Hartley singled out Reinprecht, who had eight shots.

''I felt Rhino definitely played his best game of the season,''
Hartley said. ''He wanted to be the leader up front, and he did

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead in the first period on
Reinprecht's third goal. Martin Skoula's shot ricocheted off the
glass into the right circle to Reinprecht, whose shot through
traffic beat Kolzig at 10:19.

Washington took a 2-1 lead in the second period, but Hejduk tied
it at 15:51.

Halpern jammed the puck past Roy at 3:05. After Colorado
defenseman Adam Foote was hit in the face and lost his stick, Jagr
blew past him and chipped the puck over Roy at 10:56 for his 16th

Hejduk took a cross-ice pass from Tanguay and scored from the
left circle.

Game notes
Sakic was honored in a pregame ceremony for scoring his
500th career goal last Wednesday. He was presented with an honorary
puck from NHL executive Jim Gregory and with a plaque listing all
500 of his goals from Avalanche player personnel director Michel
Goulet. ... Washington went 1-3-1 on its just-completed five-game
road trip. ... Roy had allowed 13 goals in his previous three