WASHINGTON (AP) _ Too bad Alexei Ponikarovsky can't play all of his games in
Ponikarovsky has scored just seven career NHL goals, but four have come
against Olaf Kolzig on the road. The Ukrainian left wing got two in the third
period Wednesday night, giving the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the
``It's just weird,'' said Ponikarovsky, who has played just 83 games over
four seasons. ``You just play, get chances and score goals.''
Ponikarovsky's slap shot from just inside the blue line trickled between
Kolzig's legs to break a 1-1 tie 3:43 into the final period. Ponikarovsky made
it a two-goal lead at 8:28, finishing off a nice one-two with Tomas Kaberle.
Ponikarovsky scored his first NHL goal against Kolzig and the Capitals on
Feb. 1, 2001. He has scored four goals this season, including three in
``Yeah, he seems to enjoy playing in this rink,'' Toronto coach Pat Quinn
said. ``I like that he's starting to shoot the puck. He never did shoot the
puck before. The first goal that he had maybe wasn't one of those things that
was a work of art, but he put it at the net.''
Kolzig certainly doesn't care to have a little-known nemesis. He answered
questions after the game in his usual calm demeanor, but he flung his equipment
bag against the wall in a rage of temper as he walked into the hall, then
kicked hard against the door of the dressing room.
Coach Glen Hanlon, an ex-goaltender, said Kolzig can't be faulted for the
shot that went between the pads.
``It was spinning and it just dove down hard. It was a quail coming down on
him,'' Hanlon said. ``Was he in the right spot? Yeah. You can't do anything
differently. He just didn't stop it.''
Trent Whitfield and Peter Bondra scored for the Capitals, whose season-high
five-game point streak ended. Bondra's power-play goal with 5:40 remaining made
it a one-goal game.
Craig Johnson scored his second goal of the season for the Maple Leafs. Ed
Belfour made 21 saves, one night after beating the New York Islanders 2-0.
Belfour made a nice stop on a breakaway by Bondra midway through the third.
After a scoreless first period, Whitfield put Washington on the board by
converting a crossing pass from Josef Boumedienne with the teams skating
four-on-four. It was Whitfield's second goal of the season, scored one week
after his first against Calgary.
Johnson tied it a little more than two minutes later, falling down as he
reached around a defender to poke in a rebound.