- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

The Washington Capitals committed very few mistakes last night at the Skyreach Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. The ones they made ended up in their net.
The Caps couldn't control the shifty Edmonton Oilers in the third period and lost 5-3, dropping three points behind Tampa Bay in the race for first place in the Southeast Division. The Lightning hammered Phoenix 4-0.
The loss was the sixth straight for the Caps in Edmonton and gives them a 1-1 split after two games in their cross-Canada tour which continues tonight in Vancouver.
Washington grabbed the lead late in the first period on a great play by Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus took passes from Sergei Berezin and Robert Lang, crossed the blue line and had two defenders in front of him. The wing split the pair and swung slightly to his left and shot at a very bad angle behind goalie Tommy Salo. The assist gave Berezin points in all four of his Caps games and have Lang points in seven straight.
Edmonton rallied to tie the game with 15 seconds left in the second period. Marty Reasoner came down the left wing and passed to Ethan Moreau in the middle. He fired a hard shot at Olie Kolzig and the big goalie made the stop but left a bad rebound hanging to his left. He quickly realized his mistake and dove to cover it but Fernando Pisani got there first and flicked it into the vacant net. It was the only mistake the Caps had made up to that point.
The steady defense by the two teams came apart in the third. Pisani recorded his second of the night and fifth of the season at 5:05, shooting through a three-man screen for a 2-1 Oilers lead. Just 33 seconds later defenseman Jason Doig fired from the right point into another screen and Michael Nylander redirected it at the left edge of the crease to tie the score again.
Edmonton moved back into a lead at 7:21 when Moreau got his third point of the night when the Caps were outworked down low. Moreau circled behind the net, waiting for another screen to develop, and shot through it.
Each team had excellent chances earlier in the second period but could not capitalize. Perhaps the best came midway through the period when Lang intercepted an attempted clearing pass. The center had an open shot on Salo and his shot got through but clanged harmlessly off the right post.
Cassidy won points with players by sending Brian Sutherby out for the opening faceoff as the 21-year-old played for the first time ever in his hometown in the rink where he saw the Oilers win Stanley Cups while sitting in the stands with his dad. …
Mike Grier returned to the Skyreach Centre for the first time since he was traded to the Caps just before the season opened; he spent six seasons with the Oilers. Left wing Josh Green is also a former Oiler. …
Left wing Steve Konowalchuk missed last night's game with a laceration of an ankle, suffered in the Calgary game. The problem wasn't the cut, it was trying to get his skate on. He is expected to play tonight in Vancouver. …
The target for Jaromir Jagr's return from a broken bone in a wrist is now Tuesday night in Montreal, although that is not etched in stone. The right wing has been sidelined since March 8, when he was slashed by Joe Thornton early in the third period in Boston. …
The league fined defenseman Ken Klee $1,000, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, for checking Calgary's Jarome Iginla from behind, causing injury and earning an ejection. X-rays showed no structural damage to the star but he missed last night's game against Nashville. …
Forward Alex Henry, another former Oiler, and defensemen Rick Berry and Joel Kwiatkowski were the healthy scratches.

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