- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2000

A lot earlier than anybody expected, Washington Capitals goaltender Olie Kolzig was back on skates yesterday. He went through a brief workout and left the ice saying he felt fine.
"He looked good, said there was no pain," said conditioning coach Frank Costello, slightly amazed that the defending Vezina Trophy winner was back after undergoing minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee a week ago today.
Kolzig said he still believes he will need three weeks to recuperate as originally planned, but he was encouraged by the way things have gone. He is tentatively scheduled to return for Washington's sixth game of the season Oct. 17 against Colorado.
The goalie had experienced some pain in the joint, and the decision was made to fix it now rather than have it worsen at a crucial period of the season.
Craig Billington has moved up to No. 1 for the time being, with rookie Sebastian Charpentier taking Billington's place at the end of the bench.
Billington is scheduled to play tonight when the Caps close their exhibition season, hosting Carolina. Washington was hammered 6-3 by the Hurricanes last week.


Notes Defenseman Brendan Witt missed yesterday's practice to take care of some legal problems. Witt, a Canadian citizen, had to fly to Toronto and have his passport stamped entering and leaving the country so that his visa and work permit would be approved… .
Right wing Joe Murphy, temporarily playing the left side to accommodate Peter Bondra on Adam Oates' line, returned to the ice yesterday. He missed the previous two exhibition games with a sore leg that coach Ron Wilson attributed to bad ice. Murphy said he was still a little sore but it would not stop him from playing… .
The Caps open the regular season Friday night against Los Angeles, with team members hoisting the Southeast Division championship banner about a half-hour before the game. All fans will receive a commemorative pin, while season ticket holders will receive enlarged souvenir tickets depicting five Caps. It will be Washington's only home game until Oct. 17.

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