Series (Game 3 of 5)

Washington leads 4-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 17th
Game 2: Friday, January 10th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 22nd
Game 4: Friday, February 14th
Game 5: Sunday, March 2nd

Hurricanes 3

(16-23-4, 42 pts)

Capitals 5

(22-18-3, 53 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 22, 2003

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
CAR 1 0 23
WSH 1 1 35

J. Jagr (Capitals - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

J. Vasicek (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

K. Miller (Capitals - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Kolzig improves to 200-175-52 all-time

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Olaf Kolzig needed four tries to get his 200th career victory. It means a little more that it came against the defending Eastern Conference champions.

 Olaf Kolzig

Kolzig made 35 saves, including one with his neck that stunned him for a minute or so, and Jaromir Jagr had two goals and an assist as the Washington Capitals beat the slumping Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 Wednesday night.

The Capitals snapped a four-game winless streak -- Kolzig played in three of those games -- and moved four points ahead of Tampa Bay and 11 ahead of Carolina in the Southeast Division.

Kolzig, the Capitals leader in career victories, improved to 200-175-52.

"The milestone was going to come. If I'd have been stuck on 199 the rest of my career then I'd probably be bought out next year," Kolzig said. "But we just had to get off this little winless streak."

Kolzig faced spells of intense pressure, but his most difficult save came when he put his neck in the way of Kevyn Adams' drive midway through the second period. It was the second time in 10 days Kolzig has taken one below his mask -- the last one came against the Islanders in his last victory.

"Same spot as last week," said Kolzig, who did not have to leave the game. "Right on the collar bone."

The Hurricanes, playing without injured leading scorer Rod Brind'Amour, have lost eight in a row and are 0-3 against the Capitals this season.

Carolina trailed 4-1 midway through the third period before Josef Vasicek, who moved up from the third line to Brind'Amour's spot on the second line, scored twice to make it close.

Vasicek hadn't scored since Dec. 27. He has just four goals this season.

"That's what he's going to have to do," coach Paul Maurice said. "He's got to put pucks in the net, and he's going to have to play to his abilities."

Jagr scored in the first and second periods on a pair of one-timers, both on passes from Kip Miller, for his third multi-goal game in 12 days. His first was Jan. 11 when he scored three times against Florida.

Jagr, who has 25 goals this season, also assisted on Miller's goal in the third period.

Ivan Ciernik and Jeff Halpern also scored for the Capitals. Ron Francis had the other Hurricanes goal.

Vasicek cut a three-goal deficit to one with a goal with 2:32 to play, and Peter Bondra's hooking penalty with one minute remaining gave Carolina a power play to end the game.

But Halpern scored into the empty net as time expired, a big relief for a Capitals team that blew a two-goal third-period lead in a tie at Boston on Monday.

"They certainly came out smoking," Washington coach Bruce Cassidy said. "But I'm not going to let two or three minutes discourage us from what we did tonight."

Game notes
Washington LW Steve Konowalchuck strained his groin in the first period and did not return. ... Francis' goal ended an 0-for-24 power-play drought for the Hurricanes. ... Brind'Amour tore a tendon in his right hand in Monday's loss to St. Louis and is expected to be out three months. He had successful surgery on Wednesday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press