WASHINGTON (AP) _ If these are indeed Olaf Kolzig's last days with the
Washington Capitals, then he's certainly going out with a flourish.
Kolzig followed his 38-save shutout performance two days ago with 47 stops
Tuesday against one of the league's top teams. Only Marian Hossa's late
power-play goal denied Kolzig another clean slate in a 1-1 tie with the Ottawa
``It's likely the best game he's played, from the amount of shots and the
quality of shots and how he handled the shots,'' Washington coach Glen Hanlon
``It's likely a game he can take and hopefully parks in his memory bank and
keeps it with him for when he retires, because those are the games you look
back on when you're sitting at 47 years old, trying to remember what it was
Kolzig has been the subject of persistent trade speculation as the
money-losing, cellar-dwelling Capitals look to trim payroll. The rumors
bothered him at first, but he regained his focus and has allowed just two goals
in three starts since the All-Star break.
``That stretch of three games is, I think, above and beyond the call of
duty,'' Hanlon said.
Added Kolzig: ``It's a good stretch. I'm seeing the puck really well. The
way this season has gone, I have underachieved, and this was a nice win.''
The game also marked the return of Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, who watched
from the owner's box for the first time since his one-week NHL suspension for a
scuffle with a taunting fan. This was Washington's first home game since the
suspension ended Feb. 4.
Sergei Gonchar scored his first goal for the Capitals since returning from a
shoulder injury. The Senators had their four-game winning streak snapped, but
they remain unbeaten in five games since the All-Star break.
``Kolzig was pretty good,'' Ottawa coach Jacques Martin said, ``and we
didn't capitalize on our chances.''
Hossa scored his 26th goal of the season with 4:23 remaining. He put a short
backhand under Kolzig's left leg after the puck caromed in front of a crowded
crease. The goal came 45 seconds after Gonchar was sent to the penalty box for
Until then, everything was going right for Gonchar. Playing his third game
since missing seven with a separated left shoulder, he scored a classic Gonchar
goal in the second period: a slap shot from just inside the blue line on a
power play. It came on a four-on-three advantage, and the shot beat goaltender
Martin Prusek just inside the right post.
Despite his injury, Gonchar is tops among NHL defensemen with 45 points,
including six goals.
Robert Lang assisted on Gonchar's goal, tying him with Vancouver's Markus
Naslund for the NHL's overall scoring lead with 68 points.
Prusek, giving Patrick Lalime a rest one night after the Senators played the
New York Rangers, made 18 saves for Ottawa.