Zubrus, Capitals extend Sabres' skid

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dainius Zubrus didn't sit around while his
injured hand healed, so he was more than ready to hit the ice once
it did.

Zubrus had a goal and an assist in his return from the injured
list as the Washington Capitals extended the Buffalo Sabres' losing
streak to six games with a 4-3 victory Monday night.

"The only good thing that may have come from this injury was
that I was able to work out,'' said Zubrus, who missed 12 games.
"Four weeks of good workouts -- I got to come back in better shape
than when I left.''

Zubrus, who staked Washington to a 1-0 lead less than four
minutes into the game, quickly erased any concerns Capitals coach
Bruce Cassidy had about his conditioning.

"It was his timing I was worried about,'' Cassidy said. "Maybe
we should have brought him back three weeks ago.''

Jaromir Jagr broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period. He
capped a three-shot flurry at the left post by whacking the puck in
off goalie Martin Biron with 15:31 left.

Mike Grier and Ivan Ciernik also scored for Washington, 5-0-1-1
in its last seven games. The Capitals have won five straight at

Dmitri Kalinin, Miroslav Satan and Vaclav Varada scored for
Buffalo, 1-8-1 in its last 10 games. The Sabres fell to 2-12-2-1 on
the road.

"We have a tough time scoring as it is,'' Sabres coach Lindy
Ruff said. "We can't afford to give up four here. ... We're not
going to be able to support that.''

Zubrus gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 3:43 into the game. Ken Klee
intercepted a pass outside the blue line, then tapped the puck
ahead to Zubrus, who scored from the left circle.

Kalinin's fourth goal tied it 1-1 at 14:52. Kalinin took a lead
pass from Stu Barnes and scored on a backhander that fluttered over
Olaf Kolzig's glove at the right post.

Washington held the Sabres without a shot for the first 16:29 of
the second period and took a 2-1 lead when Grier deflected Sergei
Gonchar's slap shot from the left point at 14:30.

But Buffalo converted on a two-man advantage, tying it 2-2 at
17:37 when Satan one-timed a slap shot from the right point.

After Jagr's team-leading 18th goal, Ciernik briefly gave
Washington a two-goal lead, scoring on a wrist shot from the right
wing at 11:36. Twenty seconds later, Varada's 10th goal got Buffalo
within 4-3.

Game notes
To create a roster spot for Zubrus, Washington sent C Trent
Whitfield to Portland of the AHL. ... Zubrus has dressed for only
four of the Capitals' last 18 games, but has scored a goal in each.
... Sabres LW Jochen Hecht missed his 10th game with a concussion
... Kalinin didn't have a point in his previous nine games.