Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 2)

Washington leads 1-0

Game 1: Tuesday, November 5th
Blue Jackets3
Game 2: Friday, January 3rd
Blue Jackets2Final

Capitals 4

(6-6-0, 13 pts)

Blue Jackets 3

(5-5-1, 12 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 5, 2002

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 OT T
WSH 2 0 1 14
CBJ 1 2 0 03

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

R. Whitney (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

G. Sanderson (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

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

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

Peter Bondra

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press