- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 3, 2002

KANATA, Ontario If the Washington Capitals can't win a game in regulation, the last thing they're afraid of is going to overtime.
Jaromir Jagr, feeling more and more comfortable playing with his new teammates, lifted a shot into the Ottawa goal just under two minutes into overtime last night, giving the Capitals a 3-2 victory at Corel Centre and a 6-1-9 record in overtime this season.
There is no other word other than huge to describe the Washington victory. The Senators are fighting for home ice in the playoffs and are very tough in their building. The Caps, meanwhile, were only 8-17-4 on the road heading into the game but have been slowly improving as the season progressed. They're 3-1-1 in their last five away from MCI Center
"It was huge, absolutely," said Adam Oates, who had two assists last night. "It was a huge first point [earned by tying through regulation], and points are very important to us right now. We were on the road, playing a very good team, so the second point [for the win] really helps."
Jagr had the Caps' first goal and has been playing like a man working toward a new contract instead of a guy who has just signed a long-term deal. He has been the club's sparkplug since a month or so before the Olympic break, and last night was no different.
"Jags has played a lot better the last two months," said Oates, Jagr's center. "He had a lot of pressure on him, and unfortunately he's been hurt the first half of the season. He's easy to read for me, I know what he wants to do and where he plays. And I think he's getting more used to me and more comfortable with the system. We're all a little different. It takes a little time, but hopefully now we'll continue to play well."
As is their habit, the Caps took a few minutes to get untracked, and it was nearly very costly. In the first 30 seconds, Senators left wing Magnus Arvedson was in alone on Olie Kolzig and appeared to have the goalie beat at short range. But Kolzig seemed to nick the puck with the top of his glove, and the shot kissed the crossbar as it passed harmlessly into the stands.
The only scoring in the first period came within 12 seconds in the final minute. Marian Hossa was crossing in front and took a great feed from Radek Bonk. Kolzig got a piece of that, too, but it still trickled through.
A dozen seconds later, the score was tied. Washington moved the puck into the Ottawa zone quickly, and Jagr unleashed a furious forehand on which Patrick Lalime had no chance.
The scoring was reversed in the second period. Less than two minutes in, the Caps' Andrei Nikolishin took a pretty feed from Ulf Dahlen from behind the goal line and beat Lalime with a quick wrist shot into the short side, the center's 10th of the season.
Eight minutes later Arvedson connected. He shot this time from the right hash marks and slipped a perfect shot over Kolzig's left shoulder, tying it again.
Washington played without two of its mainstay forwards, leading goal-scorer (27) Peter Bondra and wing Dainius Zubrus, who is developing into one of the better forecheckers in the league. Bondra was bedridden with the flu, and X-rays showed Zubrus' right hand is broken.
Not having Bondra had an immediate adverse effect on the power play, a category in which he leads the league with 14 goals. But not having that powerful slap shot from the right point forced coach Ron Wilson to mix things up to get some firepower back there, and it also slowed down the normal smooth flow that the first power play unit had developed.
Meanwhile, Joe Sacco got into the game to fill one spot and Stephen Peat, sidelined for all of February with a groin problem, came off injured reserve to fill the other vacant spot.

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