Capitals, Stars Skate To Tie

One of Norwegian musher Tore Albrigtsen's dogs tries to wake up after a cold night at the Takotna, Alaska, checkpoint Thursday, March 9, 2006.
AP Photo/Al Grillo

Two players in need of a jump-start, Richard Zednik and Joe Nieuwendyk, both got a pair of goals.

Washington's Zednik scored first and last, while Dallas' Nieuwendyk had two quick ones in between as the Capitals and Stars played to a 2-2 tie Wednesday night.

"I feel hungry to get pucks to the net, get shots off and create offense," said Nieuwendyk, who had just two goals in the Stars first 17 games.

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  • Zednik had just one goal before Wednesday, but he got credit for a fluke ricochet in the first period before tying the game by putting in his own rebound with 9:11 remaining.

    "It finally went through for him," said Jan Bulis, who plays on Zednik's line and assisted on the tying goal with a perfectly threaded pass from the right wing. "He needs goals."

    Both teams seemed content with the tie, especially the Stars, who had lost five of their previous seven and were winded by the end of their first game in a week.

    "I didn't have great legs tonight with that week off, funny how that works," Nieuwendyk said. "We'll take the point and run with it."

    The draw came in the 1,000th home game in the history of the Capitals franchise. Washington is 479-394-127 at home in its 25-plus seasons of existence, including a 39-35-8 mark at the MCI Center.

    Ironically, had Dallas won, it would have been the 1,000th victory in the history of the Stars franchise.

    The Capitals successfully killed four power plays, extending their streak to 45 penalty-kills without allowing a goal. Washington hasn't allowed a power play goal since Oct. 23 at Phoenix.

    Manny Fernandez, getting the start while Ed Belfour nurses a sore groin, mae 36 saves for the Stars, including two big ones in the final minute of overtime. He stopped Bulis with a kick save and got a knee in front of Peter Bondra's close-range shot on a power play. Washington had seven shots on goal in overtime.

    "Personally for me, it's a great tie," said Fernandez, who had lost his last three games. "I'm fighting to get a win. We'll go step-by-step. At least I got one point tonight."

    Zednik's first goal came 7:54 into the game, when his blast from the left circle turned into a pinball shot that caromed off Stars defenseman Brad Lukowich's stick and Dallas right wing Chris Murray's leg and into the net.

    Nieuwendyk's goals came 2:08 apart late in the second period, after coach Ken Hitchcock put Nieuwendyk and Mike Modano on separate lines. At 16:44, Nieuwendyk skated with the puck from his own blue line down the right wing and beat goaltender Olaf Kolzig from the right circle.

    Then, at 18:62, Nieuwendyk scored from the slot on an assist from Mike Keane on the left wing.

    "With the exception of three minutes, we controlled the game," Washington coach Ron Wilson said. "It's hard to play perfect hockey for 60 minutes."

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