PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr didn't have the angle, didn't have a shot, didn't have a chance. By now, however, the Pittsburgh Penguins should realize nothing is impossible against the Washington Capitals.
Jagr snapped a wrist shot from an awkward angle past Olaf Kolzig at 5:49 of overtime and the Penguins seized a two-game lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series by beating Washington 2-1 Saturday.
With defenseman Ken Klee off for his second penalty in less than six minutes, Jagr, who set up Pittsburgh's first goal, dangled the puck on his stick at the far edge of the right circle, then whistled a shot over Kolzig's shoulder.
"I'm thinking, why is he shooting from there? We're on the power play," Penguins goalie Ron Tugnutt said. "But he doesn't need much room. It was scary watching what he did."
Even scarier for Kolzig.
"I was surprised he picked that corner," Kolzig said. "He does that -- looks one way, cocks his wrists and lets it fly. He didn't have much room at all, but I guess he had all he needed."
Now, Washington has no room to err. The seventh-seeded Penguins, given a unique home-ice advantage because of scheduling conflicts at Mellon Arena, take a 2-0 lead into Game 3 Monday.
Normally, Game 2 would have been in Washington, but the Penguins' arena was unavailable most of next week.
The overtime was the first in this year's playoffs and the first this season in which teams skated five-on-five, although because of power plays, there were rarely 10 skaters on the ice during the extra session.
In the regular season, the NHL changed overtime to 4-on-4 in an attempt to decrease tie games.
Pittsburgh was 0-for-8 on the power play until Jagr scored his 56th career playoff goal and fourth game-winner in overtime.
"I took a chance," Jagr said of his game-winner. "I didn't really want to shoot because I'm not shooting that well. I knew he (Kolzig) couldn't see well."
Jagr, the NHL scoring champion, has a goal and five assists in the series after being sidelined most of the final two months of the season with various injuries.
The Capitals couldn't beat Pittsburgh at the Penguins' own game in Game 1, losing 7-0. Now, they're really in trouble -- they couldn't beat them at the Capitals' game, either.
"Yeah, we're desperate, in the sense we have to win," said Kolzig, who led Washington to the best record in the conference over the second half of the season. "But we're not desperate to where we have to change the way we're playing."
Of course, the Penguins seem to beat the second-seeded Capitals no matter the venue or the circumstances. They won four of five playoff series from them in the 1990s and are 5-1 against them this season.
"We stole this game," Jagr said. "We need to play a lot better than this.
Capitals coach Ron Wilson was enraged the Penguins had two power plays in the overtime, both on penalties against Klee. The Capitals killed off the final 1:27 of a Penguins power play to start the period, only to see Klee called for holding Alexei Kovalev at 5:08.
"That was an awful call. I don't see how you make that call," Wilson said.
Klee called it "unbelievable" and said, "Kovalev was behind me and I kind of reached back. He went down and they called it."
The Capitals abandoned their tight checking, take-no-risks style in Game 1 to try to match the Penguins' free-flowing European flair, with admittedly predictable results.
Not surprisingly, the Capitals, playing with star Chris Simon, suspended for a hit on Peter Popovic in the first game, refused to run and gun in Game 2. They stacked the blue line four-deep whenever the Penguins tried an up-ice rush and took away the open ice Pittsburgh enjoyed in the opener.
As a result, they had a 21-5 advantage in shots midway through the second period -- but only 1-0 lead, mostly because of Tugnutt's strong play.
Tugnutt, discarded by Ottawa because the Senators felt he couldn't win in the playoffs, made 37 saves even as the Capitals outshot the Penguins 38-21. Tugnutt was 3-8 in the playoffs before this series, but has allowed one goal in the two games.
Peter Bondra gave Washington a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 17:18 of the first, redirecting Calle Johansson's one-timer from the top of the slot off Andrei Nikolishin's pass.
It was the Capitals' fourth goal in 43 power-play opportunities, including their 0-for-5 shutout in Game 1, but Bondra's 17th goal in 30 career playoff games against Pittsburgh. He has seven playoff goals against the rest of the league.
The turning point for Pittsburgh may have come when the Capitals were pressing for a goal and a possibly insurmountable 2-0 lead during a power play early in the second period.
Tugnutt lost his stick behind the net and, after spending a few frantic seconds searching for it, grabbed defenseman Hans Jonsson's stick amid a burst of Capitals shots.
Tugnutt made five saves during the power play, several from pointblank range while using a much-smaller stick than goalies normally used.
"I don't remember much," Tugnutt said. "I was just glad when we cleared the puck."
Tugnutt's play clearly gave the Penguins a burst of momentum and, despite getting almost no good scoring chances in the first two periods, they tied it on Jan Hrdina's second goal of the series at 14:06 of the second. Hrdina also assisted on Jagr's goal.
As defenseman Bob Boughner pinched in to keep the puck in the Capitals' end, Jagr's shot deflected high in the air off Kolzig's blocker. Hrdina grabbed it, directed it to his stick and swatted it in from the left side of the net as Kolzig scrambled unsuccessfully to recover.
Earlier, the Capitals appeared to take a 2-0 lead, but officials ruled Tugnutt had frozen the puck and waved off an apparent Jeff Halpern goal.
|Teammates congratulate Pens captain Jaromir Jagr after his game-winning goal.||
Caps angered by penalty call in overtime
Los Angeles 5
San Jose 4
St. Louis 2
Jaromir Jagr scores the game winner in OT.
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Jan Hrdina scores off the Jaromir Jagr miss.
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Peter Bondra deflects the puck past Ron Tugnutt .
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