Kolzig Shuts Down Sabres

Enya
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Another close game in Buffalo, another victory for the Washington Capitals.

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  • Capitals, who eliminated the Sabres from the playoffs last year with an overtime victory in Game 6 at Marine Midland Arena, returned to Buffalo Friday night and came away with a 1-0 victory.

    Olaf Kolzig made 30 saves for his second shutout of the season and Jaroslav Svejkovsky scored in the third period for the Capitals. Dominik Hasek stopped 35 shots for Buffalo.

    "It was a battle of the goalies," said Capitals coach Ron Wilson, whose team has won five straight against the Sabres in Buffalo. "You're playing for a break, and you direct everything at the net. Fortunately, we got one upstairs."

    Four of the six playoff games last season also were decided by one goal.

    "This is what it was like in the playoffs last year," Kolzig said. "We took advantage of a bounce that went our way. And again tonight we came out of here with two points."

    Kolzig got his ninth career shutout and his 50th NHL win. His goals-against average improved to 1.32, while Hasek's decreased to 1.98.

    "Both goalies played great, and we got some good penalty killing," said Capitals center Adam Oates.

    Hasek made two saves shortly before Svejkovsky, who did not skate in the playoffs against the Sabres last season, scored at 7:16 of the third period.

    Hasek stopped Brendan Witt's drive fro the left point and Peter Bondra's shot off the rebound before Svejkovsky got one past the goalie.

    "It was a pretty lucky bounce," said Buffalo's Jason Woolley. "He finds a little bit of a seam and fires it away."

    The Sabres missed a good scoring opportunity when Miroslav Satan fanned on a crossing pass from Woolley just before Svejkovsky's goal.

    "Somehow it went over my stick," Satan said. "I don't know how."

    Five of Svejkovsky's 13 career goals have come against Buffalo. His other four all came in one game in April 1997.

    Washington has killed off 21 of its last 22 power plays, including seven against the Sabres.

    Seconds into the game, Buffalo enforcer Matthew Barnaby dumped Dale Hunter into the Sabres' bench, and Jay McKee spilled Mike Eagles.

    Even the fans got into the act, chanting "Olie, Olie, Olie," in an effort to rattle Kolzig, who went into the game with a 1.58 goals-against average.

    "It's disappointing," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. "We passed up shots to make better plays. We definitely had some great chances to win."

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