Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 5)

Washington leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 26th
Game 2: Saturday, November 10th
Game 3: Thursday, December 6th
Game 4: Saturday, December 15th
Game 5: Tuesday, January 22nd

Capitals 3

(12-13-0, 28 pts)

Jets 3

(6-16-2, 17 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 6, 2001

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 OT T
WSH 2 1 0 03
WPG 1 1 1 03

P. Bondra (Capitals - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

I. Kovalchuk (Jets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

L. Bartecko (Jets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Caps blow 2-0 and 3-2 leads in tie

ATLANTA (AP) -- Three straight games against first-place teams brought out the best in the Washington Capitals.

Facing the team with the worst record in the NHL pushed them to the other extreme.

Dmitri Khristich scored two goals and Olaf Kolzig made two saves in the final seconds of overtime as the Capitals tied the Atlanta Thrashers 3-3 on Thursday night.

"It seems like when we play teams like New York (Rangers) and Carolina, it's a big game for us and we play hard all 60 minutes," Washington's Sergei Gonchar said. "When we play a team like Atlanta, we let down for a couple of minutes, and they use it."

The Capitals, who outscored their previous three opponents 15-7, blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2.

Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Capitals, who had their winning streak snapped at four games. Lubos Bartecko, Ilya Kovalchuk and Hnat Domenicelli scored for the Thrashers.

Domenicelli tied it at 3 with 2:24 left in the third period, scoring off a rebound of Kovalchuk's shot.

"The last couple of games we've been on the other side of giving up some chances," said Domenicelli, who scored his fourth goal of the season. "Tonight we just kept pushing and pushing, and we were able to get a break."

The Capitals opened the scoring on a power play midway through the first period, with Khristich tapping the puck past goalie Milan Hnilicka. Three minutes later, Zubrus made it 2-0, scoring after Hnilicka stopped Peter Bondra's shot.

Then, Atlanta started its comeback.

"We have to be prepared to do the same things," Wilson said. "If you play a team like the Rangers and dump the puck in and forecheck and chip it off the board ... play solid hockey in your own end. You score five or six against a team like the Rangers. You've got to come in and play exactly the same way against someone like Atlanta."

Bartecko scored late in the first period and Kovalchuk tied it at 2 at 4:33 of the second. Kovalchuk has 12 goals this season, second among NHL rookies behind Florida's Kristian Huselius.

Washington regained the lead on Khristich's power-play goal with 2:07 left in the second, after Atlanta's Per Svartvadet was penalized two minutes for slashing.

Atlanta compiled 15 penalty minutes to Washington's 11.

"That's the best power play in the league," Atlanta coach Curt Fraser said of the Capitals. "Discipline, that's what we wanted -- staying out of the box. We took a couple of bad penalties, and we just can't get away with that."

Atlanta rookie Dany Heatley assisted on the Thrashers' last two goals. Heatley and Kovalchuk passed Huselius for the rookie scoring lead.

Game notes
C Andrei Nikolishin assisted on all three Washington goals. ... Washington went 2-for-4 on its power-play opportunities, while Atlanta was 0-for-4. ... Kolzig made 29 saves, and Hnilicka 34. ... Thrashers general manager Don Waddell spoke with suspended defenseman Petr Buzek for the first time in two weeks. Buzek, who refused to play because of a contract dispute, described the meeting as "positive," while Waddell said nothing had been decided. ... The Thrashers activated C Andreas Karlsson from the injured list and sent him to Chicago of the AHL.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press