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KOLZIG TO MISS OPENER AFTER SURGERY

Washington Capitals goaltender Olie Kolzig underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday and is expected to miss the first five games of the regular season.

Kolzig, who will be replaced by Craig Billington, had a bone spur and scar tissue removed from his knee after leaving the ice in pain at Monday's practice.

Kolzig, the 30-year-old who is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie, left practice in a fit, slamming his helmet to the floor and smashing a water bottle. His knee was tested immediately and he was on the operating table Tuesday morning.

"He's not going to miss a lot of time," General Manager George McPhee said. "There wasn't a lot of work done on the knee; it was minor and Olie should be playing in three weeks."

Isles demote top pick

UNIONDALE -- The New York Islanders sent goaltender Rick DiPietro, the top selection in June's Draft, to Chicago of the International Hockey League.

DiPietro, hadn't appeared in a preseason game with the Islanders since pulling a groin muscle Sept. 11.

"It just made it impossible for us to get a good read on him and still get ready for the start of the season," Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury said in a statement.

Around the rinks

The Boston Bruins have signed center Joe Thornton and left wing Sergei Samsonov to three-year contracts, ending the holdouts of two of their three leading scorers. Anson Carter remains unsigned.

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Chris McAllister from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defense prospect Regan Kelly, an eighth-round draft pick this year.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Sean O'Donnell was suspended for six preseason games and fined $1,000 for his actions in a Sept. 20 game.

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