Series (Game 1 of 5)

Washington leads 4-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 26th
Game 2: Thursday, November 7th
Game 3: Saturday, January 11th
Game 4: Saturday, February 15th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 1st

Capitals 1

(4-3-0, 9 pts)

Panthers 1

(3-4-1, 8 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 26, 2002

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 1 1
FLA 1 0 1

Top Skaters

Washington: R. Lang - 1 G, 4 SOG, +1

Florida: I. Novoseltsev - 1 G, 3 SOG, +1

Luongo makes 35 saves for Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Roberto Luongo played so well in the Florida Panthers' net, only a teammate was able to get a puck past him.

Roberto Luongo

Luongo made 35 saves, including seven in overtime, leading the Panthers to a 1-1 tie with the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

The only shot to beat Luongo deflected in off the stick of Panthers defenseman Ivan Majesky in the second period. The goal was credited to Robert Lang, who made a pass that ended up in the net.

''Robert was trying pass it to me but he (Majesky) put out his stick and it went in,'' Capitals forward Jaromir Jagr said.

Washington had denied on several scoring chances in overtime. Peter Bondra's shot from about 15 feet in front of the net went wide, and a few seconds later, Lang took a shot from the doorstep but Luongo made a pad save.

The Capitals even had a power play when Dmitry Yushkevich was called for holding, but Luongo made several additional saves from point-blank range.

''He played a great game for us, no question about it,'' Florida coach Mike Keenan. ''That was Roberto's point.''

At 1:53, Luongo made a pad save on a shot by Jagr from the left side of the net. He then stopped Jagr shortly after with his glove.

''I was thinking just be as big as possible and hope the puck hits you,'' Luongo said. ''It was a division game and, even in overtime, you don't want to lose against them.''

Florida took a 1-0 lead when Kristian Huselius had control of the puck behind the net and pushed it out to Ivan Novoseltsev in front of the crease. Novoseltsev one-timed a shot between Craig Billington's legs for his first goal of the season.

''Any time you've got to move from a pass from that quick and tight it's a tough play,'' Billington said. ''It was a good shot, quick release, give them credit for the guy making the pass and getting the opportunity to get the puck behind the net.''

The Capitals tied it in the second period when Lang skated in from the right side and attempted to center the puck. As Majesky tried to push the puck away from the crease it glanced off his stick and went in. Lang was credited with the goal.

Washington played the seventh game of a season-long eight-game road trip. The Capitals are 3-3-1 on the trip with a game left at Pittsburgh on Monday.

''I was happy with our play,'' Washington coach Bruce Cassidy said. ''Let's face it. I think Luongo stole them a point tonight. We had plenty of chances.''

Game notes

Billington made his second start of the season. ... Florida LW Peter Worrell was scratched after he injured his thumb in practice. ... Luongo has started all nine games for the Panthers. ... Olli Jokinen, the Panthers leading scorer, had a three-game point streak snapped.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press