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Rolston stays hot in 7-2 victory over Caps

10/31/2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The punchless Washington Capitals weren't much
of an obstacle for the Boston Bruins or their rookie goalie.

Brian Rolston had a goal and two assists as the Boston Bruins
extended their unbeaten streak to eight games with a 7-2 victory
Wednesday night over the Washington Capitals.

''Everybody chips in, everyone who's called on to do something
right now does it to the best of their ability and that's all you
can ask,'' Boston coach Robbie Ftorek said. ''We're really pleased
with the way they're playing right now.''

P.J. Axelsson, Rob Zamuner, Josef Stumpel, Bryan Berard, Joe
Thornton and Glen Murray also tallied for the Bruins, who are 6-0-2
since losing their season opener at Minnesota on Oct. 11.

The streak is the longest for Boston since an identical run from
Nov. 19-Dec. 10, 1998.

Rookie goalie Tim Thomas, playing in his second NHL game, made
33 saves for his second victory. He said Boston's biggest goal
output of the season alleviated any pressure.

''The guys certainly gave me enough of a cushion, which makes it
a little bit easier,'' Thomas said. ''You're playing against
(Jaromir) Jagr, (Peter) Bondra and those guys and you can't let
them back in the game. That was my goal -- not to give them a sniff,
not to let them think they have a chance.''

Kip Miller and Steve Konowalchuk scored for Washington, which
has dropped two straight and is winless in four (0-3-1).

Craig Billington, starting in place of Washington's injured
regular Olaf Kolzig (left hand), lasted only 21:58 before being
yanked from the net in favor of rookie Sebastian Charpentier.
Billington allowed four goals on only 12 shots.

''We had so many chances -- we couldn't buy a goal and the goalie
didn't make any saves. That's the whole game,'' said Jagr, who had
two assists.

Boston grabbed a 1-0 lead 1:31 in when Axelsson followed up Mike
Knuble's rebound from the left side. Zamuner finished off a 4-on-2
break at 8:03, sweeping a wrist shot inside the right post from the
left circle.

Miller's power-play goal cut the lead in half at 10:38. But
Stumpel restored the two-goal advantage about 7 minutes later,
lifting the puck over a crease-clogging logjam of Billington and
two fallen defenders.

Rolston's shorthanded tally made it 4-1 early in the second
period and sent Billington to the bench. Boston scored on its
second shot against Charpentier when Berard stuffed the puck
between the goalie's pads on a breakaway 9:54 into the second.

Konowalchuk trimmed the lead to 5-2 at 11:01. Thornton and
Murray scored in the third period.

''It was a long night, right from the first shift,'' Konowalchuk
said. ''Not many positives at all.''

Game notes
D Sean O'Donnell's assist on Axelsson's goal was his first
point in 18 games. ... Billington has been pulled in two of his
four starts. ... Coming off an eight-game road trip, Washington
played at MCI Center for the first time since its season opener
Oct. 11. ... Bruins C P.J. Stock, who had 122 penalty minutes last
season, picked up his first fighting major of the season in a
third-period scrap with Stephen Peat. With two assists, Stock
recorded his first career multiple-point game.