WASHINGTON (AP) _ Andy Sutton is on a tear for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Sutton scored his second power-play goal of the game with 35.2 seconds left
in regulation, giving the Thrashers a 2-2 tie with the Washington Capitals on
Sutton has a career-best, five-game scoring streak _ notching six goals and
one assist in the span. He also has goals in a career-high three consecutive
``Sometimes great performances from a player force you to make an adjustment
to a situation,'' said Thrashers coach Bob Hartley, who has put Sutton on for a
number of power plays recently. ``The big thing about Sutton is he's putting
pucks on the net.''
Jeff Halpern and Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, and Olaf Kolzig
made 43 saves.
``Kolzig is one of the best but we didn't want to lose,'' Sutton said. ``We
wanted to at least get a point. You don't make it very far in this league
without a good power play and penalty killer.''
``I am just trying to keep things simple on the power play and get shots
through. There isn't a lot of magic to it. When things are going well for you,
you seem to find a way to see the little bit of twine showing.''
Washington celebrated its 30th season in the NHL by honoring the Capitals'
All-Time 30 Team and All-Time Starting Six.
Kolzig, in his 10th season with the Capitals, was the only member of the
starting six who made it to the game. The others are Rod Langway (1982-93),
Calle Johansson (1988-2003), Peter Bondra (1990-03), Dale Hunter (1987-99) and
Mike Gartner (1979-89).
``It was a good night,'' Kolzig said. ``It's too bad it was ruined at the
end by the ref.
``The ref made a horrible call at the end of the game by missing a penalty
on them and then giving us a penalty. I just don't think it's the right way to
ref a hockey game. You can't ref like that, it's a joke.''
Washington took a 2-1 lead when Halpern redirected a feed from Semin in
front of the net at 14:20 of the second period. It was the second power-play
goal of the game for the Capitals, who scored on a season-best four of seven
power plays in a 4-3 overtime victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Hartley credited Kolzig for keeping the Capitals in the game.
``He is definitely one of the best No. 1 goalies in the league and tonight
he proved it,'' Hartley said. ``He stopped many good shots _ stood tall on our
scoring chances and gave his team a chance to win like any great goalie would
Sutton's power-play goal off an assist from Frantisek Kaberle gave the
Thrashers a 1-1 tie at 12:41 of the second. Sutton fired a long slap shot past
Kolzig, who was partially screened.
``They're finding ways _ on the two goals tonight we had great screens at
the net,'' Hartley said. ``Just to show that as a defenseman you can shoot as
hard as you want but if you don't hit the net, you won't score.''
Semin got Washington's emotional night started with a power-play goal from
Josef Boumedienne and Halpern for a 1-0 lead midway through the second period.
Semin curled from behind the net and slipped a quick shot between the skates of
``He is great on the power play and he has a great shot,'' Kolzig said of
Semin. ``For being 19, he is going to be a great one.''
Washington's Craig Johnson missed on a breakaway with 2:44 remaining in
overtime. Kolzig denied Ilya Kovalchuk, who leads the league in goals, with
2:05 left in overtime.
``It was great _ for everything that's happened this year, to have a special
night like tonight and see all the old guys and mingle with them upstairs,''
Kolzig said. ``It kind of makes you forget about the season a little bit and
remember all the good times that we did have here in the past and hopefully
we'll have in the future.''