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Defense Takes Precedence in Capitals' Win

February 25, 2003|From Associated Press

Peter Bondra and Ivan Ciernik each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals ended a three-game losing streak by defeating the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, Monday night at Washington.

Jaromir Jagr and Steve Konowalchuk also scored for the Capitals, who had lost four of five.

Jan Bulis had the goal for Montreal, which has dropped four straight -- matching a season-high -- and five of six.

Washington's defense, which surrendered 14 goals during the losing streak, clamped down on the struggling Canadiens. Kolzig, who gave up 11 goals in two games, was rarely challenged.

"This time of year, when you give up scoring chances, it can be crucial," Washington forward Jeff Halpern said. "When you play in a system with three guys back, maybe four, it limits their chances on the rush."

Washington increased its lead in the Southeast Division to three points over Tampa Bay.

San Jose 5, Calgary 2 -- Teemu Selanne scored two goals and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 32 shots as the Sharks ruined Darryl Sutter's return to San Jose.

Vincent Damphousse, captain Owen Nolan and Matt Bradley also scored, while Nabokov had a chance for the first consecutive shutouts of his career until giving up two goals in the final 4 1/2 minutes.

Sutter coached the Sharks to five consecutive seasons of improved point totals. He was fired Dec. 1 and was hired to coach the Flames on Dec. 28.

Buffalo 2, Florida 2 -- Former King Jaroslav Bednar scored with just over two minutes left to lift the Panthers into a tie with the Sabres at Sunrise, Fla. Another former King, Olli Jokinen, also scored for Florida.

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