- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 12, 2003

Rumors of Jaromir Jagr's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
On a night when virtually everything worked to near perfection, Jagr and his Washington Capitals teammates scored one of the most lopsided victories in franchise history by stomping Florida 12-2.
Jagr tied his personal record with seven points (three goals, four assists) and tied the franchise record held by Dino Ciccarelli with four goals and three assists March18,1989, in an 8-2 victory over the Hartford Whalers.
The outburst came on the day Jagr was named to the NHL All-Star team for the 12th time. He will start for the Eastern Conference.
Jagr has posted decent numbers for an average player this season, 18 goals and 36 points, but he wasn't satisfied and even said it wasn't right for him to be starting in the midseason exhibition.
The victory kept the Caps in first place in the Southeast Division with 47 points and was their 12th straight game with points accumulated (7-0-3-2, 19 of a possible 24 points). The victory put Washington four games above .500 (20-16-5-2) for the first time since the end of the 2000-01 season.
With the Caps leading 9-0 after two periods, Jagr played less than four minutes in the final period. There was not much need for him to be on the ice with a lead like that.
Asked if he wanted an eighth point that would have broken his personal record, Jagr replied, "No. I know how it feels to be on the other side. Today whatever we touched it looked like it would go in. It's not easy to be down 10-0. You've got to respect Florida; they played good in the third period. You have to respect the other team. I don't want to go out there and score eight points. It doesn't matter because we won."
As Jagr said, it seemed that whatever the Caps touched wound up in the back of the Florida net. Washington tied its season high with a four-goal first period, then bettered that with a five-goal second.
"We were due to have a breakout night, our big guys," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "It just happened to all come on the same night. It was fun to watch, but at the same time, being on the other end is no fun. I was happy to see Jags have a big night the others get their numbers up and get their confidence back."
Jagr was everything to everybody during the first two periods, a performance like he had in Pittsburgh but not in the two seasons he has been a Cap.
"When he gets going early, gets rewarded and gets some points, those seem to be the games he has a little more juice," Cassidy said. "He got a point early then got a goal on a rebound and all of a sudden I said, 'Look out, he's going to have one of those nights.' And sure enough, he did."
The barrage started early in the first. Robert Lang (Jagr assist) hit at 1:43 on a power play; Jagr at 7:25; Sergei Gonchar (Jagr assist) at 14:25; Dainius Zubrus at 16:05.
In the second period, Steve Konowalchuk scored at 17 seconds; Jagr got his 20th at 8:49; notched his 21st at 10:39; Michael Nylander (Jagr assist) nailed his 11th at 10:39; Jason Doig (Jagr assist) his first of the season (and second of his career) at 16:15.
Florida broke through at 3:59 when Olli Jokinen scored to deprive Olie Kolzig of a shutout. But Peter Bondra scored twice in a row, the Panthers scored once again and Zubrus answered with his second of the night.
Jani Hurme started in goal for Florida and lasted just 17 seconds into the second before he was pulled. He gave up five goals on 14 shots. Roberto Luongo came on in relief and finished the second before Hurme returned for the third.
The result tied the Caps' record for most lopsided win (also 12-2, Feb.6,1990, against the Quebec Nordiques).
Defenseman Calle Johansson left the game after the first period with what was described as a sore back. A club official said he would be evaluated today. Going into last night's game, Washington had a win and a tie against Florida this season with the combined total number of goals in both games just five.
The Caps are 9-1-0 in their last 10 vs. the Panthers at MCI. Until last night, it was in Florida that the Panthers were having problems this season. They were just 4-8-5-4 at home but 8-5-4-4 on the road. The Panthers' previous worst loss came late in the 1998-99 season, when they were trampled by Toronto, 9-1.

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