Series (Game 1 of 5)

Washington leads 4-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 17th
Game 2: Friday, January 10th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 22nd
Game 4: Friday, February 14th
Game 5: Sunday, March 2nd

Capitals 2

(3-0-0, 6 pts)

Hurricanes 1

(1-3-1, 3 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 17, 2002

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 2 02
CAR 0 1 01

J. Jagr (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

O. Kolzig (Capitals - G): Saves: 37, Save Pct.: .974

K. Weekes (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .926

Kolzig stops 37 shots to help Caps remain undefeated

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Washington Capitals are determined not to fall behind the Carolina Hurricanes again.

Peter Bondra

Jaromir Jagr

Peter Bondra and Jaromir Jagr scored second-period goals, and Olaf Kolzig stopped 37 shots as the Capitals beat the slumping Hurricanes 2-1 Thursday night.

"It was playoff hockey,'' Kolzig said. "There's no secret that we're the two teams in the Southeast Division that people are picking to win. Not to take anything away from Tampa, Florida or Atlanta, but that's the way it is.

"We want to make up as much ground in October and November as we can so we don't have to play playoff hockey from January on.''

The Hurricanes took over first place in the Southeast in November last year, holding off the Capitals the rest of the season en route to the Eastern Conference title. Meanwhile, Washington narrowly missed the playoffs despite adding Jagr to its lineup.

This time, the Capitals have won their first three for the first time since starting 4-0 in 1997-98 to get a jump on Carolina. All of Washington's wins have been by one goal.

"It's tough to make the playoffs,'' Jagr said. "It used to be where you could almost take half of the year off and still make it. Now, it's not so easy. Now you have to get every point you can get and take every team seriously.''

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have started slowly, going 1-3-0-1 in their first five games, scoring just nine goals.

"There are not a lot of guys that I can sit here and say, 'Hey, this guy has to come out of the lineup, this guy isn't working as hard as he can,''' Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "There is not an obvious pick here.

"But we haven't scored a 5-on-5 goal in three games. So, that's a major cause for concern.''

Ron Francis put the Hurricanes on top with a power-play goal 5:09 into the second, but Bondra scored less than two minutes later on a great passing play from Calle Johansson and Robert Lang, who also assisted on Jagr's goal.

Bondra had five goals in five games against Carolina last season.

Jagr scored his third goal in as many games and 473rd of his career during a hooking penalty against Jeff Daniels. Jagr was able to park to the left of Carolina goalie Kevin Weekes and his shot deflected off the stick of Hurricanes defenseman Bret Hedican and over Weekes' shoulder.

Kolzig stopped Erik Cole twice from in close with 1:15 left before Carolina pulled Weekes for an extra attacker.

The first period was scoreless despite a combined 34 shots -- 21 coming from the Hurricanes. Carolina managed just 24 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss at St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Twice Carolina poked pucks past Kolzig after the whistle blew, once in the first and once midway through the second after the score was tied 1-1.

"I can almost understand the first one, there were so many bodies cross-checked into a pile that you would lose sight of the puck,'' Maurice said. "But the second one we felt was too quick a whistle.

"For a team that is really fighting to put the puck behind the goaltender right now that's the margin of error you can't have.''

Game notes

Carolina dressed seven defensemen for the first time this season as Glen Wesley returned after missing three games with a groin injury. ... Hurricanes C Josef Vasicek and LW Tommy Westlund were held out with back problems. ... The last time Carolina had 20 shots in a period at home was Nov. 26, 2000, against Nashville. ... Bondra's 28 career goals against the Hurricanes are his fourth-most against any team. ... Carolina's Jeff O'Neill extended his assists streak to four games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press