Final OT

Series (Game 2 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

Panthers 1

(5-6-2, 13 pts)

Capitals 2

(7-6-0, 15 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 7, 2002

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 OT T
FLA 0 0 1 01
WSH 1 0 0 12

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

O. Kolzig (Capitals - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .970

J. Hurme (Panthers - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Kolzig wins first game back from wrist injury

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Capitals had the look they wanted. Olaf Kolzig was back in goal and Jaromir Jagr had a breakaway chance in overtime.

Olaf Kolzig

Jaromir Jagr

Jagr scored a short-handed goal at 3:56 of overtime, and Kolzig made 32 saves in his first game back from injury to lead the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory Thursday night over the Florida Panthers.

"It's pretty good money that he's going to put the puck in the net,'' Kolzig said. "There's no other guy in the league, except other than Mario (Lemieux), that you want with the puck on a breakaway.''

With Kip Miller in the penalty box, Jagr outraced Valeri Bure to a clearing pass from Jeff Halpern and beat Jani Hurme on his backhand for his eighth goal. That gave the Capitals their second straight overtime win.

"When I turned around, I see he's got a step on me so I just put my head down and tried to go back,'' Bure said. "I tried to hook him, but it didn't work.''

Kolzig returned after missing five games because of a wrist injury. He hadn't played since Washington's 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Oct. 25th.

He wasn't really challenged through the first two periods, but early in the third the Panthers started to get quality scoring chances.

Kristian Huselius tied it 1-1 at 2:47 of the third after taking a breakaway pass from defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, just seconds after Peter Worrell was turned away by Kolzig on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box.

Kolzig made his best saves in overtime, when he denied an uncontested slap shot from Sandis Ozolinsh and made a sliding stop on Viktor Kozlov.

"We've got a lot of good players, but I like to think Olie's our best player,'' Halpern said. "Anytime you put a guy like that back in the lineup, it's a huge boost. He gives us so much confidence out there.''

Overtime has become an all-too-common occurrence for the Panthers this season. Three of the team's five wins have been in overtime, including a victory Tuesday night over Pittsburgh.

"We'll take the point,'' Bure said. "But when you're in a situation to win the game, it's hard to take a loss.''

Robert Lang gave the Capitals their first lead on the team's second shot. He one-timed a centering pass from Michael Nylander on the power play for his fifth goal.

Lang scored the only goal for Washington when the teams met last month in Florida.

Washington then failed on four second-period power plays, and Hurme, who made his second start of the season, made 29 straight saves after Lang's goal.

"Hurme stood on his head and gave them a chance to win,'' Kolzig said. "But when it counted the most, Jags put it in.'' The Capitals got another power-play chance when Ozolinsh was called for boarding with 3:15 left in regulation. But Hurme was able to preserve one point for the Panthers when he stopped Jagr down low.

Game notes

To make room for Kolzig on the active roster, the Capitals sent rookie G Sebastien Charpentier back to Portland of the AHL. Charpentier played in four of the five games Kolzig missed going 2-1-0 with a 2.69 goals-against average. ... Florida G Roberto Luongo was scratched, and Wade Flaherty was recalled from San Antonio to backup Hurme. ... Washington D Brendan Witt left the game after the first period because of a bruised shoulder.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press