Series (Game 2 of 4)

Washington leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, October 28th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 3rd
Game 3: Thursday, January 30th
Game 4: Saturday, April 5th

Capitals 4

(11-13-0, 24 pts)

Penguins 1

(11-7-3, 28 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 3, 2002

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
WSH 2 1 14
PIT 0 0 11

J. Jagr (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

K. Klee (Capitals - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

R. Lang (Capitals - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Jagr tallies 13th goal in victory over Pens

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr finally beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that's not why the former Penguins' captain was smiling Tuesday night.

Jaromir Jagr

"What means a lot to me is that I think we've got a lot better talent than we've shown, and tonight was a total team effort. Everybody did what they were supposed to do,'' Jagr said after his 13th goal of the season in the first period turned out to be the game-winner as the slumping Washington Capitals beat Pittsburgh, 4-1.

Washington had been winless in five games (0-3-2) against the Penguins since acquiring Jagr in July 2001 for prospects Kris Beech, Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk. But the Capitals, trying to battle out of a 2-7-1 slide, shut down the Penguins' power play and got 16 saves from goaltender Olaf Kolzig to win for just the second time in their last 11 games in Pittsburgh.

"This was really important, especially with our record in this building recently,'' said Kolzig, who was bidding for his first career shutout against the Penguins when Mario Lemieux directed an Alexei Kovalev pass behind him with 2:53 to play.

"We haven't established any kind of identity yet, and tonight was by far our best game of the season.''

Ivan Ciernik, former Pittsburgh center Robert Lang and Jeff Halpern also scored for the Capitals, who gave the Penguins only three power-play chances and fired 32 shots at goaltender Johan Hedberg. It was the second straight home loss for the Penguins, who fell 3-2 to Boston on Saturday.

"I don't think too many people in here are happy with our effort tonight,'' said Hedberg, who hasn't won a home game since Nov. 2. "It was an ugly game. We didn't have any intensity at all.''

Ciernik gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 8:46 of the first period with his second goal of the season, extending his scoring streak to six game.

Hedberg stopped Ken Klee's shot from the right point, but Ciernik converted the rebound from between the circles. Michael Nylander also assisted on the goal, extending his scoring streak to eight games.

Jagr scored for the second straight game at 13:10 when he circled behind the Pittsburgh goal and threw a centering pass into the slot that bounced off the skate of Pittsburgh defenseman Marc Bergevin and past Hedberg -- much to the dismay of the small crowd of 11,640, which booed Jagr almost every time he touched the puck.

"I get paid to win hockey games, and we did it tonight,'' Jagr said. "It doesn't matter if I stink or play good. We just had to make sure we didn't give them any scoring opportunities, didn't make any bad turnovers. I hope we can continue to play the same way.''

The Capitals, who switched to a trapping system in Sunday's 5-4 loss in Atlanta, held the Penguins without a shot through the first 11 minutes of the third period and continually beat them to loose pucks.

Lang scored his seventh goal of the season at 1:48 of the second period when he beat Ian Moran to the rebound of his own shot from the right circle, knocking the puck past Hedberg from a sharp angle.

"Any time you play against a team you played for before, you get a little extra adrenalin,'' said Lang, who left the Penguins to sign with Washington as a free agent this summer. "Scoring a goal is definitely nice, but winning the game is definitely nice. I am sick of losing.''

Game notes

The Penguins played without Dick Tarnstrom (broken foot) and Alexandre Daigle, who was scratched for the first time this season. ... Washington scratched Dainius Zubrus (hand), Jean-Francois Fortin (flu), Alex Henry and Steve Eminger. . . Jagr played in his 900th NHL game. ... The Capitals recalled defenseman Jason Doig from Portland of the AHL and gave him a regular shift. ... Former Pittsburgh defenseman Rick Berry also had an assist.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press