- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

The Washington Capitals have scored a total of one goal in three of their last four games. In 12 games thus far, the club has been shut out three times. Not the kind of results that were anticipated when the team spent a bundle of dollars last summer in an attempt to fix a scoring shortage.
Brian Boucher and the Philadelphia Flyers drubbed the Caps 3-0 last night before an announced crowd of 18,157 at MCI Center, and it appeared Flyers supporters were at least in a vocal majority. And they had plenty to cheer about.
The Flyers scored the game-winner 3:39 into the first period and added a fluke score less than three minutes later. All that was left to do was run out the clock, which the visitors did with relative ease.
The loss continues an all-or-nothing trend for Washington this season. In the Caps' five victories, they have scored a total of 22 goals. In the team's seven other games, it has scored a total of seven goals.
The difference last night was Boucher, the third-year goalie who is coming off a bad season and is fighting Roman Cechmanek for the starting job. Based on his performance last night, the Caps are more than willing to vouch for him.
"There were opportunities galore and the puck didn't go in the net," said Caps coach Ron Wilson, "partly [because] Boucher made some great saves and partly because we shot ourselves in the foot on some of the opportunities. … We're not panicking or anything like that, we go back to work and work on the things we need to work on."
The Caps were already down 3-0 eight minutes into the second when Washington got an excellent chance to get back into the game. Either the Caps blew it or Boucher stole it. Either way, it came and went with no positive result.
Washington had a two-man advantage for 1:26 and got seven good shots in on Boucher during that time, only to be rejected in every case. The total number of shots during the overlapping penalties was 10, and Boucher mastered them all in spectacular fashion.
"Everybody has their ups and downs during a season but the bottom line is if we have a chance, we have to score goals," said Peter Bondra. "If you don't score, you don't win. But we worked hard, we created enough chances, we got down early but we didn't give up, we tried to fight through. The bottom line is we didn't score."
Simon Gagne scored a goal in both the first and second periods, with Pavel Brendl finally getting his first NHL goal off a strange bounce. He dumped the puck into the Caps' zone in the first period and turned for the bench. Olie Kolzig saw it all the way but the puck took a very odd bounce just before he tried to glove it. Kolzig dove but the puck got into the cage before he could reach it.
"We learned tonight we can't afford to get behind early in a game, much less to a real good defensive team," said Kolzig. "We need to get off to better starts, no question. I think we've given up the first goal in 90 percent of our games and that's a trend we want to get away from. … We've been in these slumps before and we've managed to rectify things pretty quick."
Meanwhile, defenseman Calle Johansson returned to action after missing four straight games with an injury; he played nearly 21 minutes. And right wing Chris Corrinet made his NHL debut. He played only 10 minutes with the fourth line but shared the club lead with three hits.

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