National Sports Briefs: Caps rough up Kolzig
WASHINGTON ó 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.
However, by that time louder cheers had already been heard for the Capitals’ first two goals. Monday, it was Brent Johnson ó Kolzig’s backup the past three seasons ó who won the goaltending matchup. Johnson finished with 34 saves, and Kolzig had 26 stops.
Oilers 3, Rangers 2, SO
NEW YORK ó Ales Hemsky scored the only goal in the shootout and undefeated rookie goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 40 saves for the Oilers, who ended their longest road trip of the season with a victory over the Rangers.
New York is 1-3-1 since a 10-2-1 start.
ST. LOUIS ó The St. Louis Blues are responding to tight economic times with a fan bailout plan.
The team announced Monday that at every remaining Saturday home game beginning Nov. 29, the organization will call the seat number of a fan and pay that person’s mortgage or rent for four months, up to $4,000 total.
NEW YORK ó The World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies will host the Atlanta Braves in Major League Baseball’s 2009 opener on April 5.The Sunday night game, originally scheduled for the following day, will be broadcast on ESPN2, the commissioner’s office said Monday.Most other teams start play on April 6.
– KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Right-hander Brandon Duckworth signed a one-year contract with the Royals on Monday and was sent outright to Triple-A Omaha.
Duckworth spent most of last season with Omaha but went 3-3 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts for Kansas City. The 32-year-old Duckworth, who played his Class A ball in Kannapolis as a Piedmont Boll Weevil, will make a salary based on $600,000 while he’s on the Royals and $300,000 if he’s in the minors.
– OAKLAND, Calif. ó Star outfielder Matt Holliday appears headed to the Oakland Athletics.Two people familiar with the proposed deal say the A’s and the Colorado Rockies have reached a tentative agreement.
– SEATTLE ó Boston left-hander Jon Lester, who has recovered from cancer, clinched the World Series for the Red Sox in 2007 and threw a no-hitter last season, was selected as the recipient of the Hutch Award.
It gives the award annually to a major league player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of former major league pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson, who died from cancer in 1964 at age 45.
SHANGHAI, China ó It wasn’t hard for Roger Federer to find a silver lining in his Masters Cup loss.
The aching back that forced him to withdraw from the Paris Masters 10 days ago was fine, and he still has a shot to win the season-ending event for the top eight players on the men’s tennis tour.
“I’m definitely in a more positive mind-set today just because my back feels good,” the second-ranked Federer said after losing to Gilles Simon of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Monday.
– BARCELONA, Spain ó Rafael Nadal will miss Spain’s Davis Cup final against Argentina because of a knee injury.
The top-ranked Nadal said Monday he was still struggling with tendinitis in his right knee.
DENVER ó The Nuggets waived Antonio McDyess on Monday one week after obtaining him from Detroit along with Chauncey Billups and Cheikh Samb for Allen Iverson.