- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

The Dallas Stars took too many penalties Saturday night against St. Louis and the Blues made them pay.
This time, Chris Simon took a double minor less than three minutes into Washington's game last night, Dallas converted both ends of the power play at American Airlines Center in Dallas and beat the Capitals 5-2, handing Washington its second straight loss.
Scores by Jeff Halpern and Jaromir Jagr twice brought the Caps to within a goal but the deficit could not be made up and Washington dropped to 3-2-0 on the season after opening with three straight victories.
Backup goalie Craig Billington was victimized for three goals in the first period and was replaced by Olie Kolzig just 10:13 into the game. Kolzig allowed one goal the rest of the way with the Stars' final tally coming on an empty netter with 15 seconds left.
"Your starting goalie has to give you a chance to win the game and he didn't," Caps coach Bruce Cassidy said. "When we needed a big save, we didn't get it, so I went to Olie. I didn't want to go to Olie believe me, I didn't want to go to Olie."
Actually, Billington did not play as poorly as the stats indicate. Billy Guerin beat him low to the left side while Billington was screened, and Darryl Sydor beat him low to the right side, again while the goalie was screened, for the two power-play goals.
The only goal that Billington appeared to have a chance at was the first of two that Rob DiMaio scored, a wrist shot from the left side that went up over the goalie's left arm. That came at 10:13 and that was all coach Bruce Cassidy wanted to see.
Dallas was all over the Caps during the first period, keeping them off-balance and unable to establish any rhythm. Washington played far better in the second period and nearly tied the game on several occasions, but veteran goalie Ron Tugnutt kept the score in Dallas' favor.
Jeff Halpern scored 6:36 into the game when he shot into a crowd from deep in the left circle.
Jaromir Jagr's goal came at 16:15 of the second period after some great grunt work by center Dainius Zubrus. The big right wing took a pass from Zubrus and quickly snapped a shot that skimmed down the outside edge of Tugnutt's right pad.
Washington had chances in the third period but a hurry-up mentality prevented them from launching a cohesive attack. The shots they took were impatient and usually from the perimeter, causing Tugnutt little trouble.
Dallas put the game away with DiMaio's second goal of the night, which glanced off Kolzig's left arm and up over his shoulder.
"I don't think this is a groove this is the way I know I can play," said DiMaio, who struggled and was often a healthy scratch last season, his first in Dallas, as he was never embraced by previous Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. "If you have a coach that has faith in you, you're going to do better."
DiMaio and teammate Dave Tippett played together in Philadelphia in 1993-94 and have been friends ever since. The third member of their Flyers line was Mark Lamb, now a Dallas assistant.
"Robby plays with a lot of energy," Tippett said. "He brings a passion to every shift. Even if he makes a mistake, you know he's going to give you every ounce he has. From a coaching standpoint, that's all you can ask for."
Notes
The Caps are at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. Defenseman J.F. Fortin played despite a painful right foot, the result of taking a shot Saturday in Philadelphia. Cassidy shortened his bench to three lines after Simon got out of the penalty box. The Caps have scored 12 goals this season and Jagr, Robert Lang and Peter Bondra have 10 of them.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide