- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 18, 2001

The type of hockey the Washington Capitals know they are capable of playing surfaced last night, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim paid the price.
Adam Oates had a goal and three assists, Jaromir Jagr had his first goal since Nov. 2, Matt Pettinger and Chris Simon each scored once and Olie Kolzig was unbeatable when it counted as the Caps drilled the Ducks, 4-1 at MCI Center.
It was only the Caps' second victory in 10 games, and the Ducks made them work for the win, which made it all the sweeter.
"We definitely found our grinding type of game; we scored the first goal, which is nice; our power play worked; and the penalty killing was excellent," said coach Ron Wilson.
The game turned late in the second period when the Caps had two men in the penalty box for 1:14 on overlapping penalties. Anaheim got off seven shots and Kolzig had to make two very big saves to hold the lead but the Ducks were unable to narrow the gap. Considering the circumstances for the struggling team, it might well have been the biggest penalty kill of the season.
Facing the Ducks while down a pair were Oates plus Sylvain Cote and Frantisek Kucera, the latter two not part of the regular unit used to kill two-man disadvantages.
"Obviously we killed off a 5-on-3 and a number of other penalties, turning-point kills," Wilson said. "It's 3-1 at the end of the second period and we probably feel nervous because of what's happened to us recently but we got the job done. Olie made some great saves and it seemed a lot of different guys were rewarded who needed it."
"This was big," acknowledged wing Ulf Dahlen. "We've been going through a really, really rough time with injuries. You can use them as an excuse but that's not good enough, every team in the league has injuries. We've been scrambling for something to build on and tonight I thought we got something to build on. It was a big win for us, everybody used their head and played good defense."
The game should have been out of reach before Washington had to kill off the critical two-man disadvantage. The Caps registered no gain while misfiring on a pair of two-man advantages totaling 1:31, getting only two shots off while up two men. It was something Wilson made note of after the game.
Jagr scored a backhander on a power play in the first period, the Caps' first goal with the extra man in three games. Pettinger made it 2-0 later in the first, putting a slapshot in the top right corner. Samuel Pahlsson's drive from 50 feet hit something, changed direction and Kolzig had no chance seconds after Pettinger scored.
Oates' first of the season came on a power play in the second. Dahlen slipped a pass through the crease to where Oates was standing at the back door. He easily directed it into the cage. Simon scored into an empty net near the end to round out the scoring, his third goal in four games.
"We've got to give ourselves a chance to win every night," Dahlen said. "You're not going to win every game, no team is in this league but by playing the way we played tonight, we're going to give ourselves that chance."
The game pitted the winningest coach in Caps' history, Bryan Murray of Anaheim, against the winningest coach in Ducks' history, Washington's Wilson. The two split the two games the teams played this season.
Meanwhile, veteran defenseman Joe Reekie was a healthy scratch last night for the first time this season. Ken Klee returned from his rib cage injury while Kucera and Dean Melanson filled in for other missing regulars. Other healthy scratches last night were wings Chris Corrinet and Dmitri Khristich, the latter for the fifth straight game and the 13th time this season.
Defenseman Brendan Witt, who has been on personal leave attending to a death in his family, should return tomorrow from Saskatchewan and be available Wednesday when the Caps play host to Tampa Bay. The co-captain has missed five games.


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