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Hartford still special for Krygier


HARTFORD, Conn. -- A game in Hartford is no longer special for Todd Krygier. After two seasons with the Washington Capitals, Krygier feels no sentiment toward his former team, the Hartford Whalers.

But Krygier has ties to the area that run deeper than his two years with the Whalers. Before starting his NHL career in Hartford, Krygier played at the University of Connecticut. His brothers, Mike and Bryan, also played at UConn, and both live in Connecticut.

Krygier rushed out of the Capitals' locker room after Saturday's 4-1 loss in Hartford because his brothers were waiting.

"It's nice to come here and see them," Krygier said. "The place, the Hartford area. . . . I went to college around here and enjoyed myself. So it's nice being back.

"But I don't really think about the game. I've been a Washington Capital longer than I was a Whaler. I'm really happy where I am, with the organization."

Games against his old team may not be significant, but Krygier plays as if they are. He has always played well in Hartford, and Saturday was no exception. While the Capitals -- coming off an 11-2 victory over Ottawa -- were unable to mount an offense against Hartford, Krygier helped set up the Capitals' only goal.

Early in the second period, Dimitri Khristich took the puck from Hartford's Jim Sandlak and sent it ahead to Krygier to a two-on-one break with Michal Pivonka. Krygier sent a pass across to Pivonka, who beat Sean Burke.

But Burke allowed nothing else. He had 29 saves and was the game's No. 1 star.

As well as Burke played, Krygier thought most of the blame rested with the Capitals.

"We beat ourselves," said Krygier, who led the Capitals with four shots on goal. "We moved the puck better Friday. Some of it was Hartford, but mainly it was us. We didn't skate."

Pivonka tried to ignore the red blotch on the left side of his stomach. He didn't want to think about his injury or the possibility that his rib could be broken.

Pivonka didn't even want to talk about how the injury occurred. "On the power play . . . someone took a shot," he said. "It just happened."

The shot was by Al Iafrate. The slap shot struck Pivonka early in the third period and forced him miss the rest of the game. Pivonka was to have it X-rayed yesterday or today.

Pivonka scored the Capitals' only goal Saturday and was coming off a three-point night in Friday's 11-2 victory over Ottawa. He has points in the past five games and in six of the past seven.

"I've had it going for the last six or seven games, now this," Pivonka said. "It might just be a few a days, then I'll be back. I hope so."

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