Cats Head to Tampa After Shutout Loss in Washington
/ Florida Panthers
Goaltender Olie Kolzig made 27 saves and posted his first shutout in more than three years during the Washington Capitals' 1-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
The Capitals got on the board with Alex Ovechkin's 44th goal of the season on a shot from the slot at 5:28 of the second period. Brooks Laich and Milan Jurcina assisted on the play that helped Washington end a six-game losing streak.
But the night belonged to Kolzig, the longest-tenured Capitals player - just three days shy of his 37th birthday.
The shutout was Kolzig's first since Feb. 15, 2004, during the Capitals' 4-0 win at Chicago, and the 34th of his 18-year NHL career.
Kolzig (22-23-6) faced his most serious threat when Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's shot from beyond the circle hit the left post with 30 seconds remaining in the second period.
Kolzig is one of seven active goalies with 250-plus career wins and one of only two in that group to record all of his victories with the same team. Martin Brodeur of the Devils is the other.
The Capitals improved to 21-8-8 when they score first. Washington is 6-31-6 when its opponents score first.
Ovechkin is four goals shy of 100 and four points away from 200 for his NHL career. He just missed on another scoring opportunity midway through the third period when his shot got through the legs of Panthers goalie Craig Anderson but somehow missed the net.
With two games remaining, the Capitals need one win to match their 70 standings points of last season. Since winning consecutive home games two weekends ago, Washington had gone 0-5-1.
Anderson, who won his first game last Wednesday against Atlanta, had 16 saves.
Notes: The Capitals have two first-round and two second-round picks in the 2007 draft. Barring trades, that would give Washington 13 first-round selections in the past six drafts. ... Ottawa's Dany Heatley is the only NHL player with more goals than Ovechkin since Ovechkin entered the league last season.