Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Washington leads 2-1

Game 1: Saturday, January 25th
Game 2: Sunday, February 9th
Game 3: Monday, February 24th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 25th

Capitals 1

(22-18-3, 54 pts)

Canadiens 1

(19-19-5, 50 pts)

2:00 PM ET, January 25, 2003

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
WSH 0 0 1 01
MTL 1 0 0 01

J. Theodore (Canadiens - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: .971

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Rivet (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Montreal's Koivu scores 100th career goal

MONTREAL (AP) -- Andreas Salomonsson chose the right time to score his first goal for the Washington Capitals.

 Andreas Salomonsson

Salomonsson's goal lifted the Capitals to a 1-1 tie with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Trailing 1-0 after Montreal captain Saku Koivu scored his 100th career goal in the first period, the Capitals tied it 2:26 into the third on Salomonsson's first goal in 30 games this season.

"It was good timing," Capitals right wing Jaromir Jagr said. "He was waiting for the right time and then he got it."

Washington left wing Josh Green jumped on the puck after Canadiens right wing Oleg Petrov fanned on his attempt clear Dainius Zubrus' centering pass out of the zone. Green got the puck to Salomonsson, who beat Jose Theodore from the edge of the crease to tie the game.

"We were down 1-0 going into the third period and my goal gave us the point, so that was good," Salomonsson said. "Hopefully, there will be more to come."

Olaf Kolzig came up with two big saves in overtime for Washington, stopping Doug Gilmour before denying Patrick Traverse in the final minute of the extra frame.

"We play to win a lot in overtime," Capitals coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We've got some offensive-minded guys, so I certainly wasn't surprised we gave up a breakaway. We're happy with a point, but the way we played, if we play like that a lot of nights we're going to win our share of games."

Washington is 0-2-0-1 in three games.

Montreal remained undefeated in regulation through each of its four games under new head coach Claude Julien. The Canadiens are 1-0-2-1 since Michel Therrien was fired Jan. 17.

"They have three very good lines that can score and they play their system well,'' Koivu said. "There's not a lot of room out there. I thought we played well. We got the point then we had good chances in overtime."

Koivu got credit for the milestone goal -- his 15th of the season -- on a power play 6:45 in. Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois' slap shot struck Richard Zednik before it caromed off Koivu and went floating past Kolzig and into the net.

"It was weird," Kolzig said. "Brisebois took the shot, our defenseman blocked it and it went right across and hit Koivu. I was looking off to the side and when I saw the puck it was kind of right by my ear and I just couldn't swing my glove around to get it."

Salomonsson got behind the Montreal defense at the end of the second period, but time expired as he drove toward Theodore on a breakaway.

Game notes
Salomonsson was claimed off waivers from New Jersey on Oct. 16 and has had two brief stints in the minors this season. ... Niklas Sundstrom made his debut for Montreal, which acquired him from San Jose on Thursday as part of a three-team deal that saw Canadiens backup goalie Jeff Hackett end up with Northeast Division rival Boston. ... Canadiens center Yanic Perreault left because of a pulled groin during the second period and did not return. ... Goalie Mathieu Garon, recalled from Hamilton of the AHL on Friday, dressed for the first time this season and served as Theodore's backup.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press