Capitals Welcome Back Olie With 1st-Period Barrage

Kolzig gives up four in return to Washington

Olie Kolzig got a warm welcome from the crowd in his return to Washington.

His former teammates weren’t so accommodating.

Tom Poti, Mike Green and Eric Fehr scored in the first period, Alex Ovechkin added his first goal in 10 games and the Washington Capitals beat Kolzig and the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Monday night.

"Olie the Goalie" spent 16 seasons with the Capitals, but signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent after being relegated to a backup role during Washington’s late push for the playoffs last season.

The crowd of 17,932 showed its appreciation of Kolzig’s time with the team, briefly chanting “Olie, Olie” after the national anthem and again during a video tribute. As highlights of Kolzig’s Washington career showed on the scoreboard midway through the first period, the fans gave him a standing ovation.

However, by that time louder cheers had already been heard for the Capitals’ first two goals. Monday, it was Brent Johnson -- Kolzig’s backup the past three seasons -- who won the goaltending matchup. Johnson finished with 34 saves, and Kolzig had 26 stops.

Gary Roberts had two goals for Tampa Bay.

Poti scored Washington’s first goal 8:20 into the game. Donald Brashear carried the puck down the right side of the ice and dumped it to Poti, who was following the play and put the puck over Kolzig’s left shoulder for his second goal this season.

Green made it 2-0 at 9:55. He controlled a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin and scored from the top of the right circle.

Fehr finished the first-period scoring with his first goal of the year. Fehr took a pass from Brooks Laich and fired in a slap shot from the top of the left circle to make it 3-0 with 3:36 left in the period.

Roberts had a power-play goal in the second, and scored again in the game’s final minute.

The Capitals’ final goal came when Ovechkin redirected Alexander Semin’s shot with about 4 minutes left. It was Ovechkin’s third of the year.

Notes: Three players on the Lightning roster -- Kolzig, C Jeff Halpern and L Matt Pettinger -- have played more games with Washington than anyone currently with the Capitals. Kolzig holds the franchise record with 711 games played in a Washington uniform. ... Washington is 6-0-1 at the Verizon Center, the only Eastern Conference team without a regulation loss at home.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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