- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. The Buffalo Sabres played like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop all night. When it didn't, the Sabres sprang to life and did some shoe dropping of their own.
The Sabres scored twice in a little more than a minute late in the third period last night, overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat the Washington Capitals 4-3 for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The depressing loss prevented the Caps from winning three in a row themselves and dropped them two games under .500.
Goalie Sebastien Charpentier, who flew in yesterday from Newfoundland to join the team, had been playing a strong game until his support dried up. The Caps were outshot 22-5 in the final 20 minutes (and 44-25 overall) as Buffalo threw everything but the Bills at Charpentier.
"You got to play and play hard in hockey, and we just ran out of gas in the third," Charpentier said. "We got outshot, outplayed and outworked in the third. There's really nothing else to say."
Jaromir Jagr broke a 2-2 tie for the Caps early in the final period, roofing a shot from close range that appeared to be the winner. The only assist on the play went to center Michael Nylander, who now has at least one point (seven goals, 13 assists) in 10 consecutive games.
But the goal wasn't enough, and that was apparent long before Buffalo successfully stormed through.
With 3:11 to go, Dmitri Kalinin drilled a shot from the left side that Charpentier thought he had, but it slipped under his right pad. Sixty-eight seconds later, center Adam Mair shot from a bad angle, and the puck zipped through the beleaguered goalie's legs.
"It's like we're afraid to win games, like we've never had a lead before," Caps coach Bruce Cassidy said. "What did Buffalo do special in the third period? They got the puck out of their zone, they got it deep and they outworked us for second chances. They just outworked us. Their third game in four nights, and they just outworked us.
"It's disappointing. We just flushed two points down the toilet, right down the drain. We put pressure on our goaltender to make big saves in the third period, and we just never learn as a team."
The only goal of the first period came about halfway through when Ales Kotalik worked his way behind the defense, deked right to move Charpentier then left, tucking the puck behind the goaltender.
Washington's first truly noticeable sign of life came during a power play seven minutes into the second with Rory Fitzpatrick off for roughing. The Caps had numerous chances to tie the score, but poor marksmanship rather than good goaltending kept Washington off the board.
That changed at 13 minutes. J.F. Fortin, playing his first game since missing four with a stomach virus, blasted a shot at Martin Biron. The Buffalo goalie made the stop but didn't have a chance to deflect it far because Brian Sutherby was on the doorstep. He rapped the rebound back behind Biron for a tie.
It lasted less than three minutes. Miroslav Satan, who had 15 goals in 24 career games against Washington, got his 16th on a pretty move. He was going right to left through the hash marks and paused for a screen to develop. Once it did, he turned a wrist shot loose, and Buffalo was up 2-1.
Scoring at nearly a goal a minute continued after Satan connected. Biron came out of his net to play a shot and became tangled up with Nylander. The puck popped loose, and Peter Bondra was there to deadlock the game 2-2 with his third goal in two games.
Notes Left wing Colin Forbes played in his 300th NHL game last night, including stints with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Ottawa and the New York Rangers. Leading up to Christmas week, the Caps play eight of 10 games on the road, with the scene shifting to the West next week. Washington will be at Anaheim on Wednesday, Phoenix on Friday and San Jose on Saturday. There also is a Dec.16 date in Denver with Colorado before the Caps return home to play Boston on Dec.19.

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