- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

BOSTON This was one of those games a team knows is going to come during the course of a season. The hope is it comes early but not often.
A hockey game took place at the FleetCenter in Boston yesterday afternoon. The Bruins played hockey. The Washington Capitals were engaged in something else, and it certainly wasn't hockey.
The shorthanded Bruins rudely jolted the Caps back to reality, and the visitors appeared more than happy to willingly submit to the embarrassment. The final score was 4-0 Boston, a win which left the meager crowd hooting with pleasure.
As well as Washington played in the second and third periods of its lopsided opening night victory Saturday, the flow was reversed 100 percent yesterday. The well-oiled machine suddenly took on the appearance of a rusty DeSoto.
"It just shows we might be guilty of reading our press clippings," said coach Ron Wilson. "Because of the way the game went the other night you can't make any assumptions. The first half of the first period we played pretty well then when they scored the goal (by Martin Lapointe at 14:40), it seemed to turn the whole thing around. We were back on our heels for a good part of the game, nothing seemed to click."
Wilson was 100 percent correct. From the point of Lapointe's goal to the end of the second period 25 minutes the Caps were outshot 20-5, an indication of where the action was.
When Washington had a man advantage, it was hard to tell which team was on the power play. That was not a problem when the Bruins were a man up, the scoreboard made that very apparent.
Washington defenders had Bruins tied up in front but Boston scored anyway. The lines that worked so well together the other night were no longer communicating. That would have been difficult to do anyway because the Caps spent so much time in the penalty box there was no cohesive line play possible.
"When you go on the road you have to play with more discipline than we did," Wilson said. "You have to have the discipline to play well on the road. They scored two power play goals early in the second and we were down three. They did a real good job on the neutral zone of making sure nothing happened."
For the record, the Caps were scoreless in seven power play attempts; they couldn't even control the puck when they had a two-man advantage for 48 seconds. Boston scored on two of its nine chances.
Defense? When Bruins wing Mike Knuble came down the left side five minutes into the third period, with Boston already up 3-0, parking lot attendants were closer to him than any Washington defenders. He scored, as Olie Kolzig failed to perfect the art of playing the game by himself.
The shutout went to former Caps goalie Byron Dafoe, who did not have much work most of the afternoon.
Notes The Bruins are in for a tough few weeks, maybe longer. Jason Allison, last season's leading scorer, is holding out; Billy Guerin, the No. 2 scorer last season, has been suspended for three games, and Mikko Eloranta, the team's top left wing, is out with what is being described as bumps and bruises. Guerin had the winning goal in Saturday's 4-3 OT victory over Atlanta but he'll sit for two more games because of an incident where there was no penalty call. The right wing went after a loose puck, the stick rode up the arm of center Patrik Stefan and caught him on the jaw, breaking it. Stefan required surgery and is out an unknown length of time. Any time a stick makes contact above the shoulders, the league has warned, there will be action.
Stephen Peat was recalled from Portland after two games with the Pirates and went straight into the lineup, replacing right wing Joe Sacco, out with bruises. Also sitting yesterday were defenseman Ken Klee and right wing Dmitri Khristich. The Caps were scheduled to charter to New York City last night and practice there today in preparation for tomorrow night's game against the Rangers.
All the seats in the lower bowl at FleetCenter were colored yellow last season but this season the color of every other one has been changed to black. The unofficial take on the decor change is that the darker shade hides empty seats of which there are thousands better than the lighter shade.

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