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Sakic surpasses 1,500 career points in loss to Capitals

Oct 26, 2006 - 3:46 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Joe Sakic's milestone failed to help the Colorado Avalanche secure a victory.

Sakic registered a goal and an assist to surpass 1,500 points in his career as the Avalanche endured a 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals.

A former Hart and Conn Smythe Trophy winner who has led the Avalanche to a pair of Stanley Cup titles in his brilliant career, Sakic became the 11th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points with an assist on Andrew Brunette's first-period goal.

"It was nice to get it out of the way. But it would have been nicer with the win," Sakic said. "I expected to get it this year when I only needed 11 points coming into the year. It's a credit to all the great players I have had the privilege of playing with throughout the years."

"The old guy can still shoot it," Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig said. "Congratulations to him. I didn't want to be part of the history books, I've already been with Brendan Shanahan this year and now with Joe. He's a terrific hockey player and a terrific person. It's a great accomplishment and he can still play the game. He's an exciting player."

Sakic added his fifth goal of the season and 579th career just 1:42 into the third period.

However, the night belonged to the Capitals, who got goals from five different players including reigning Calder Trophy winner Alexander Ovechkin, whose health is now in question. Ovechkin took a shot off his right leg in the waning seconds and struggled to make it off the ice, not putting any weight on his leg.

"He'll be OK," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "You don't normally see 50-goal scorers blocking shots."

"I didn't know what happened," Kolzig said. "The way he was acting, I thought it was his knee. He's our horse, he's our organization. To see him go down like that, I got a little worried."

After scoring his fifth goal of the season at the 10:30 mark of the second period to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead, Ovechkin was presented with a chance for his second multi-goal game of the season with 8:02 remaining in the third.

Ovechkin was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked from behind by veteran defenseman Ken Klee. But Ovechkin failed to cash in, shooting high over the glove of goaltender Peter Budaj.

"Alex played great tonight," Hanlon said. Brunette later scored his second goal of the game and fifth of the season with 2:38 remaining to pull the Avalanche within 4-3.

But Matt Bradley sealed things with an empty-net tally with 36 seconds to go.

Bradley's second goal of the season helped make a winner of Kolzig, who faced a barrage of shots and finished with 45 saves.

"Ollie was the difference tonight," Hanlon said. "When we had eight minutes to kill in the first period, he did a great job. He made a couple of big saves in the third when we lost a couple of assignments."

Chris Clark, Mike Green and Dainius Zubrus also scored for Washington, which had been 0-1-2 on the road.

Clark opened the scoring just 53 seconds into the game before Brunette tallied at the 11:33 mark to tie game.

Using a sensational individual effort, Green maneuvered past a pair of players in the slot and slid the puck inside the goalpost and by Budaj at 8:52 of the middle session, giving Washington a 2-1 a lead.

"I cut across the middle and noticed the puck was still on my stick," Green said. "(I) just drove to the net, noticed that the goalie was down, so I took it to the other side and just slid it in."

Just 1:38 later, the talented Ovechkin unleashed a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Budaj just inside the post for a 3-1 advantage.

Sakic scored less than two minutes into the third period to pull the Avalanche within 3-2. But Zubrus tallied his fourth goal at 3:42 to restore some breathing room for Washington.

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