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Bondra scores twice for Washington

1/30/2004

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- On paper, the Carolina Hurricanes should have no problem with the Washington Capitals. On the ice, it's another matter.

Bates Battaglia broke a third-period tie and Peter Bondra scored
twice to help Washington beat the Hurricanes 5-3 Thursday night.

Carolina leads the Capitals in the Southeast Division standings
and outshot them 35-19 Thursday night. But Washington has won five
straight against the Hurricanes dating to last season.

"Sometimes the shot clock isn't always indicative of what
happens in a game," Carolina goaltender Kevin Weekes said.
"They're a highly skilled team. You give them time and space and
power-play opportunities, they're going to capitalize."

Bondra had one of Washington's two goals on the power play. He
assisted on the other.

Washington defenseman Jason Doig, who gave Rangers star Eric
Lindros a concussion with a hard, clean hit Wednesday night,
collided with Carolina's Kevyn Adams in the first period. Adams
departed with an injured left knee.

Carolina jumped to an 8-1 lead in shots midway through the first
period. But with Battaglia off the ice for holding, the Capitals
held the Hurricanes without a shot on the power play -- and through
the rest of the period.

"That took the momentum, maybe some of the wind from their
sails," Bondra said. "That was the key for us, and slowly we
started getting back in the game."

He credited the team's power play -- fourth in the NHL going into
the game -- and goaltender Olaf Kolzig, who stopped several
excellent Carolina scoring chances in the third period.

"Olie kept us in. We all know it. He made some unbelievable
saves and that's the reason we won the game," Bondra said.

Justin Williams, who had one goal and one assist in his first
five games with the Hurricanes since he was acquired in a Jan. 20
trade with Philadelphia, scored twice in the second period.

"It doesn't give me any solace," he said. "Instead of finding
ways to win games, we're finding ways to lose them and we're in a
playoff race."

Carolina's Bret Hedican tied the score 3-3 midway through the
third, dropping close to the net on a power play to flip a pass
from Ron Francis past Kolzig.

But Battaglia tapped in a cross-crease pass from Anson Carter
with 6:13 left to make it 4-3. The assist was Carter's first with
the Capitals since he was acquired for Jaromir Jagr in a Jan. 23
trade with the New York Rangers.

Mike Grier added an empty-net goal with 57 seconds remaining.

Both of Bondra's goals also came in the second. Weekes thought
he had stopped a slap shot by Brendan Witt, but Bondra jarred the
puck loose from Weekes' sleeve to make it 2-1 at 6:44.

With Williams off for a tripping penalty, Bondra scored on his
own slap shot at 8:14 to make it 3-1.

Williams came back with his second goal at 9:49, a sharp-angle
shot through Kolzig's legs to cut Washington's lead to 3-2. He
scored the Hurricanes' first goal on an unassisted rush three
minutes into the period to tie the score at 1.

Robert Lang, second in the NHL in points coming in, opened the
scoring with less than a minute left in the first period. Lang,
alone in the left circle on a Washington power play, snapped the
puck through a crowd in front of Weekes.

Game notes
Carolina was coming off one of its biggest wins of the
season, a 2-0 victory over first-place Toronto on Tuesday. ... The
Capitals, who beat New York 2-1 on Wednesday, last won two in a row
Jan. 9 and Jan. 11 against Carolina and Edmonton.