- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

HELPING PORTLAND — With their season long over except for the formalities, the Caps are hoping that their American Hockey League farm team in Portland (Maine) can still make the playoffs. To that end, Washington sent promising forward prospects Brooks Laich and Owen Fussey to the Pirates yesterday and recalled center Andrej Podkonicky and left wing Roman Tvrdon. The 25-year-old Podkonicky, who played six games for Florida in 2000-2001, has six goals and 10 assists in 48 games with Portland. The 23-year-old Tvrdon, who has no NHL experience, has two goals and four assists in 49 games for the Pirates, who were three points out of the final AHL playoff spot before last night.

Podkonicky and Tvrdon are the 19th and 20th players to make the Portland-Washington shuttle this year.

NEARLY FOUR DOZEN — Podkonicky and Tvrdon became the 46th and 47th players to play for the Caps this season, setting yet another unenviable team record. The NHL record is 65 players used by the 1991-92 Boston Bruins.

Washington’s 42 losses before the game against the New York Rangers were its most since 1977-78 and the third most in franchise history.

JAGS IS BACK — Lost in the fuss over Jaromir Jagr’s return to MCI Center almost two months after he was traded to the Rangers on Jan. 2 was how Jagr is one of the all-time Caps-killers. In 51 games for Pittsburgh against Washington, Jagr had 25 goals and 41 assists. Jagr also played huge roles as the Penguins beat the Caps in six of seven playoff series from 1991 to 2001.

David Elfin

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