- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2003


Seen and heard last night at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Fla.:
SENT DOWN Right wing Andreas Salomonsson cleared waivers and was re-assigned to the Portland (Maine) Pirates. It is the third time this season he has been sent down. Salomonsson has played in 32 games this season with one goal, the game-tying score in Montreal Jan.25.
Washington activated right wing Alex Henry off injured reserve on Monday, forcing the Salomonsson move.
GREAT MONTH Washington just concluded a month where it went 6-3-4-2, not sensational but a strong performance to keep it moving toward a playoff spot. What was sensational was the Caps' power play performance during the 15 games, going 20-for-56, scoring at a 35.7-percent clip. The power play outburst moved the Caps from the dark reaches of the league standings to eighth before last night.
Washington scored 50 goals during the 15 games, an average of 3.33, and allowed 38.
"Our power play obviously had a great month," said coach Bruce Cassidy. "You're not going to have another month like that but you can at least be up where we figure to be, in the top five."
DECISION QUESTIONED In a game that was billed as one of the biggest of the season, Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella's decision to go with newcomer John Grahame in goal was under a microscope. Grahame, acquired from Boston on Jan.13, was picked to face the Caps over the Lightning's No.1, Nikolai Khabibulin.
"John has come in here and given us a little bit of jolt," Tortorella said yesterday. "We weigh decisions very carefully, especially in this situation. But the bottom line is, what is best for your hockey team tonight? We feel this decision as far as Johnny going is the right one. I'm a big believer in 'show me.' Johnny Grahame has shown us."
Dave Fay

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