Kolzig withstands 50 shots as Capitals end skidNov 29, 2006 - 3:16 AM
Kolzig withstood a furious third-period attack en route to 48 saves as the Washington Capitals posted a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Five different players scored for the Capitals, who snapped a six-game losing streak. But the star was Kolzig, a 15-year veteran who was eyeing his first shutout since the 2003-04 season and his 37th career after turning aside 23 shots in the first two sessions.
"Well, you're up by four, you should close the game out," Kolzig said. "But obviously they're a skilled hockey team and I'm sure they got an earful after the second, being down 4-0. It wasn't like we were dominating the game. We were capitalizing on our chances."
The Lightning came out with some renewed spunk in the third session, peppering Kolzig with 25 shots, including goals by Nick Tarnasky and Vincent Lecavalier in the first 10 minutes.
"They did have some chances, but it's not odd-man rush after odd-man rush or one-timers from all over the place," Kolzig said. "It's a lot of shots, but for a goalie, they're shots that you love seeing because they get you in the hockey game. You want to get shots, get into a groove. Fifty is a little extreme, but any time you can get 10 to 12 shots a period, it's good for a goalie. You're into it."
The 36-year-old Kolzig kept Tampa Bay off the board for the final 10 minutes and held helped kill all seven Lightning power plays.
"Kolzig was great. We gave up 24 power-play shots, there were so many penalties out there and he kept us in it," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "Scoring goals early was huge for us. Being on a losing streak, you have to get a win. At critical times Kolzig was there tonight."
Washington took a 1-0 lead at 14:12 of the first period when Matt Pettinger passed from the right circle to Kris Beech, who was cutting toward the right side of net. Beech skated in and lifted the puck over goaltender Johan Holmqvist's shoulder.
The Capitals extended the edge to 2-0 on the power play at 1:53 into the second period when Pettinger knocked the puck out of zone to center ice, where Boyd Gordon gathered, skated in on a breakaway and beat Holmqvist high to the glove side.
Washington broke open the game with two late goals in the second period. Alexander Semin added his ninth at 16:29 and captain Chris Clark tallied two minutes later for a 4-0 lead.
"After the second goal, we fought it a bit and I thought Washington turned it up a notch," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "You're not going to get me to tear apart a (freaking) hockey team tonight. There's no (freaking) chance. There were a lot of good things going on there."
Holmqvist, making his first appearance against Washington, was replaced by Marc Denis after the third tally, allowing three goals on 13 shots. He entered 8-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average in November.
"I didn't play some of those shots the way I would have liked," Holmqvist said. "It definitely wasn't one of my best games."
Alex Ovechkin scored his 16th goal of the season on an empty-netter with 69 seconds left, putting the official end to the Lightning's three-game winning streak.
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