- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 6, 2002

The Washington Capitals' four-game winning streak came to an end last night but they are unbeaten in five games (4-0-1). That may not be good enough.

Washington went into the game against Ottawa at MCI Center even with Montreal in games played, both with 77, but two points behind the Canadiens in the standings. With less than a handful of games remaining, making up that one point may be very tough.

The Caps played a scoreless overtime draw against the Senators, the third goalless game in Washington's 28-year history but the first at home. It was the fourth such game Ottawa has played in the last five seasons.

Ottawa's Patrick Lalime had 25 saves, while Olie Kolzig was the star for the Caps, turning aside 28. It was Kolzig's sixth shutout of the season and the 27th of his career.

But the lack of scoring didn't matter. What Washington needed to do was get two points to keep pace with Montreal. It failed to do that, so the Canadiens stay a point ahead of Washington and now have a game in hand.

"I look at it like we lost a point," the Caps' Jaromir Jagr said. "We are not supposed to lose, can't do it."

Said coach Ron Wilson: "We got a point that might turn out to be very valuable. I'd rather look at it that way rather than look at a point we didn't get."

No one disputed the fact that it was a great game, a hard-fought game with very few scoring chances either way.

"Both teams played extremely well," said Senators coach Jacques Martin.

Wilson agreed, saying,"I thought it was a great hockey game."

Jagr noted, "In the second period we adjusted to their game, up and down, and it was a mistake."

Each team had opportunities to end the suspense with a few shots rattling off goal posts. Ottawa's Shawn McEachern had Kolzig dead to rights early in the third period with possession of the puck in front and nobody near him. Kolzig made the stop.

At the other end, Jagr kissed a post in the third period and did the same thing in the overtime.

"Both goaltenders were outstanding," Wilson said. "Their goalie obviously in the first half of the game had to keep them in it and in the second half, by not scoring, we cost ourselves a lot of energy. We were pushing hard at the beginning and we didn't score and then they pushed back."

Scoreless games are among the truly great hockey spectacles but last night's was marred by lengthy delays that made a game with no scoring drag on for 2 hours, 25 minutes in regulation. Five minutes of overtime took another eight minutes after a three-minute delay between regulation and the extra period.

At one point in the third period, it appeared the officials were going to resume action although the red light was on indicating a TV timeout was still in progress, the timer frantically waving for the linesman not to drop the puck.

Washington took another goalless draw into overtime this season, on Jan. 14 against Boston. Dainius Zubrus scored 13 seconds into the extra period to end that one.

The Caps' previous two scoreless games were on the road. The first was Dec.10, 1988, Pete Peeters and Patrick Roy tying in the Forum in Montreal. The second featured Washington's Rick Tabaracci against Calgary's Ken Wregget on Oct.20, 1998.

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