Capitals Tie Blue Jackets, 2-2
Jan. 04, 2003
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sergei Gonchar scored his second goal of the game on a power play midway through the third period, and the Washington Capitals salvaged a 2-2 tie Friday night with the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.
Gonchar beat a screened Marc Denis with a slap shot from the left point against the league's top penalty-killing team. Ray Whitney and David Vyborny scored for Columbus, which has lost four straight road games and five of six overall.
Gonchar gave Washington a 1-0 early in the first period when he put in his own rebound.
Columbus tied it late in the period with its ninth short-handed goal of the season to match Detroit for the most in the NHL. Duvie Westcott picked up Jaromir Jagr's turnover just outside the Columbus zone and headmanned to Mike Sillinger for a two-on-one break finished off by Whitney at the right post.
Vyborny put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-1 late in the second period. When goaltender Sebastien Charpentier couldn't control Rostislav Klesla's shot from the left point, Vyborny pounced on the loose puck and scored his ninth goal on a sweeping backhander.
The tie gave Washington points in nine straight games, and its 5-0-1-3 run put the Capitals in a tie with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Southeast Division.
Notes: D Calle Johansson played in his 941st game for Washington, breaking the franchise record held by Kelly Miller (1986-99). ... Capitals RW Peter Bondra missed his second straight game with the flu, so RW Andrea Salomonsson was recalled from AHL Portland. ... Whitney's goal was his first in nine games. ... Columbus had six short-handed goals in franchise history before this season _ three in each of the club's first two years.