- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 3, 2001

Ulf Dahlen tied the game with 71 seconds left to give the struggling Washington Capitals a 2-2 overtime deadlock with Phoenix last night, but the contest was marred by another injury to superstar Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr, who scored the Caps' other goal in the first period, was injured 3:02 into overtime when he was checked into the boards by Coyotes left wing Brad May. The Caps right wing immediately slumped to the ice and had to be assisted to the dressing room.

"He tweaked his knee again," general manager George McPhee said minutes later in the dressing room. "He's day-to-day; it's the same as before."

Jagr initially injured his right knee when he was slew-footed by the Rangers' Igor Ulanov in New York on Oct. 10. Jagr missed three games and has not been 100 percent since, although he admitted it was only a matter of the joint healing and said there would be pain in it until that happened.

"It's just annoying; he's getting tired of tweaking it," McPhee said when asked if Jagr was in a lot of pain. "He could play [tonight in St. Louis] or he could play in a week, I don't know."

McPhee said he was not sure yet if Jagr would accompany the team on the two-game road trip that starts tonight and concludes Tuesday night in Toronto.

It appeared on TV replays that May made contact with Jagr's upper right side and not his knees. A team source said the wing's knees were buckled against the boards by the force of the contact, and that may have contributed to reinjuring his right knee.

Washington scored the tying goal 16 seconds after Olie Kolzig left the ice in favor of an extra attacker after Phoenix was called for a penalty, giving the Caps a 6-on-4 advantage. Jeff Halpern took the first shot, and Dahlen went to swipe at the rebound when his stick was struck by Andrei Nikolishin's stick going for the same puck. The force of the two sticks drove the puck into the net.

Danny Markov gave Phoenix a lead early in the first period the seventh time this season Washington has allowed a goal in the first 10 minutes. The defenseman fired from the right boards into the far left side of the net after veteran Claude Lemieux circled the net with the puck and then fed the former Toronto star at 5:35 on a power play.

Washington tied it eight minutes later on a power play of its own after Dahlen and Halpern paid a physical price along the boards. Dahlen fed Jagr, and the big right wing unleashed a quick wrist shot on which goalie Sean Burke never had a chance at 13:11.

Just 1:06 before the end of the opening period, Lemieux was left alone in front on another Phoenix power play, and Sergei Berezin found him before the Caps could dislodge him. He chipped the puck over Kolzig for a 2-1 Coyotes lead.

Jagr's goal snapped a string of two straight games in which the Caps failed to score 133 minutes, 11 seconds to be exact. It was the 11th time in Washington's 13 games this season the opposition has scored first, and the Caps have won only one of the two games in which they scored first.

Meanwhile, Adam Oates was a surprise scratch after the center participated in the pregame warmups. A team official said the club's No. 1 center was missing from the lineup because of an injury but wasn't specific. Oates suffered a bruised left ankle in the Atlanta game a week ago and missed one day of practice but worked out with the team Thursday. Washington has lost 21 man-games to injury in 13 games.

It was the first game Oates has missed this season after missing just one during the last two seasons.

The healthy scratches last night were right wing Dmitri Khristich and defenseman Rob Zettler.


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