Olaf Kolzig, aka Godzilla, made his return to Washington tonight. It was very strange seeing Kolzig in a Lightning jersey and having to root against him for the first time ever.
Kolzig was the Capitals first round pick in the 1989 draft, 19th overall. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2000, was a first team All-Star in 1999-2000 and is the all time leader in Caps history with 305 wins and 35 shutouts. He also helped lead the Caps to the Cup finals in 1998.
Ollie said in an interview prior to the game that he was "just as nervous tonight as he was when he made his professional debut in October of 1989."
The fans cheered when his name was announced, Kolzig tried to avoid looking at the crowd for the first 30 seconds or so.
Kolzig said Barry Melrose had asked him earlier in the season if he wanted to start tonight's game against his former team. Kolzig said yes because he "...just wanted to get the game out of the way and behind him."
The Capitals didn't have a shot in the first eight minutes of the game. That's when all the warm and fuzzy feelings went away. Tom Poti scored, his second goal in as many games, at the 8:20 mark of the first period on the Caps' first shot of the game.
Mike Green scored his fifth goal of the season (first at full strength) about 1:40 later on the second shot of the game for the Capitals.
After that the Capitals dominated the offensive zone adding another goal by Eric Fehr and ending the period with 12 shots on goal. With two assists on each goal, nine different Capitals had a point in the first period.
In the second period Kolzig got over the butterflies and stopped six shots including a blazer by Dave Steckel with about 10 seconds left in the period.
Meanwhile Kolzig's counterpart, good friend and former back up, Brent Johnson, stopped the first 14 shots he faced, until Gary Roberts broke the shutout on a power play goal at the 16:30 mark of the second period.
Kolzig said he was proud of the way the Brent Johnson has been playing so far this season, after taking over the starting job from the inconsistent Jose Theodore.
On a beautiful pass from Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin broke the longest goalless draught of his career with a goal at the 15:54 mark in the third period, giving the Caps a 4-1 lead.
With about 25 seconds left in the game, Gary Roberts scored his second power play goal of the night. The two goals tonight gave the 42-year old, 436 for his career. The goal cut the lead to 4-2 which would be the final.