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Bondra's goal with 3.3 seconds left in OT wins it

11/5/2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Peter Bondra put his teammates in trouble,
then made up for it with a game-winning goal.

Bondra scored twice, including the winner with 3.3 seconds left
in overtime, as the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue
Jackets 4-3 Tuesday night.

Bondra was called for a tripping penalty with 15.5 seconds left
in regulation. The Blue Jackets had one good chance before the
horn, then got several more early in overtime.

''I almost lost the game, but on the other way we won,'' Bondra
said with a grin.

With time running out, Michael Nylander slipped a pass through
the crease to Bondra, who had a nearly empty net on the weak side
and easily beat Blue Jackets goaltender Marc Denis for his seventh
goal.

''The pass was actually a pretty good pass through traffic,''
said Denis, who had 33 saves. ''That's why I was late getting to
Bondra. He had a wide-open net. You get a guy like Bondra with a
wide-open net, he's not going to miss too often.''

Bondra said Nylander did most of the work.

''He's got so much patience with the puck. I know he saw me. I
took my time to make sure the puck didn't bounce on me,'' Bondra
said.

Nylander sensed that Bondra was open.

''They collapsed and I knew Bondra was on the far post,'' said
Nylander, acquired last week in a deal with Chicago. ''He was just
wide open.''

Jeff Halpern had a shorthanded goal and an assist, Sergei
Gonchar added two assists and Mike Grier also scored for the
Capitals.

Tyler Wright had a goal for the 100th point of his NHL career
and the Blue Jackets scored on three consecutive power plays to
overcome an early 2-0 deficit.

Wright's goal, his sixth of the season, extended his streak to
three games in a row. Ray Whitney and Geoff Sanderson each added a
goal and an assist for Columbus.

''Where we lost our point was probably not scoring on the power
play,'' Whitney said of Bondra's late penalty.

Columbus was 3-for-7 on the power play, giving it 17 goals with
a man advantage this season. The Blue Jackets didn't score their
17th power-play goal last season until January.

Columbus was playing its first game without Kevin Dineen. The
39-year-old forward announced his retirement earlier in the day, a
month into his 19th NHL season. He finished his career with 355
goals, 405 assists and 2,229 penalty minutes in 1,188 games for
Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina, Ottawa and Columbus.

Down 2-0 late in the first period, Whitney's slap shot hit
teammate Grant Marshall in the chest and Sanderson jammed the puck
past goaltender Sebastien Charpentier.

Wright, who has 55 career goals and 45 assists, tied it 5:10
into the second period when he batted in his own rebound.

Whitney's one-timer from just inside the blue line eluded
Charpentier midway through the second period to give Columbus a 3-2
lead.

The Capitals drew even when Ken Klee's shot from the right point
went off Wright's skate and bounced to Grier in the slot. Grier
patiently went to the backhand to beat Denis for his first goal of
the season just 17 seconds into the third period.

''It was a big goal from Mike Grier,'' Bondra said. ''It gave us
a lot of energy.''

Bondra extended his points streak to five games with a
first-period power-play goal, his sixth of the season. Gonchar got
his fifth assist in the last three games when he fed Bondra for a
one-timer from the top of the circle at 11:43 of the first.

With Columbus on the power play, Halpern stole the puck from
Whitney near the blue line and swooped in on Denis, scoring his
third of the season on a backhander between the goalie's pads.

Game notes
Columbus C Espen Knutsen was scratched because of a slight
groin pull and is listed as day to day. ... Washington has played
10 of its 13 games on the road. Columbus has played nine of 12 at
home. ... The Capitals were 1-for-3 on the power play.