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Vanek has 3G, 2A and Sabres beat Bruins 7-4

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Vanek has 3G, 2A and Sabres beat Bruins 7-4

BOSTON (AP) Thomas Vanek had three goals and two assists, setting up the tiebreaking score with 13:06 left in the third period, to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Vanek opened the scoring 98 seconds into the game, then had a goal and an assist to tie it after Boston took a 3-1 lead in the second. The Bruins went up 4-3 in the third before Alexander Sulzer tied it on a wrister from the faceoff circle, and then Vanek helped give Buffalo the lead when he kept the puck in the zone, faked a shot and slid it over to Cody Hodgson for the game-winner.

Ryan Miller made 38 saves for Buffalo, which ended a four-game winless streak. Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for the Bruins.

Vanek picked up his eight career hat trick with 1:31 left to play. And he was trailing the play - but did not get an assist - when Jason Pominville skated in for the empty-netter with 14 seconds left to clinch it.

Vanek, who entered the game tied for sixth in scoring in the league, now has 54 points in 46 career games against the Bruins.

Brad Marchand scored two goals and Rich Peverley and David Krejci had one apiece for Boston, which had points in its first six games since Bobby Orr led the Bruins to a 5-0-1 mark in 1970-71. A win would have equaled the best start in franchise history.

Vanek gave the Sabres the lead after a scoreless first period, but Boston came back with three straight goals to open a 3-1 lead. The Sabres tied it again, thanks in part to a 5-on-3 power play when Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic were both sent off for penalties.

Midway through the two-man advantage, Vanek deflected a pass from Christian Ehrhoff into the net. Ninety-three seconds later, Vanek was posted up in front of the net when he was flattened by Boston's Andrew Ference; even as Vanek was falling to the ice, he managed to pass the puck across the slot to Tyler Ennis for the tying goal.

Krejci gave Boston the lead early in the third, but Sulzer tied it 4-4 less than a minute later and Hodgson added the go-ahead goal with 13 minutes left.

Notes: As part of their efforts to apologize to the fans for the lockout of the players, the Bruins gave away 134,000 concession items during home games in January, three per fan per game. That included 36,111 fountain sodas, 27,364 hot dogs and 19,472 boxes of popcorn. ... Lane MacDermid, a fourth-round pick in 2009, made his season debut tonight. He took the place of Chris Bourque, who was a healthy scratch. ... Bruins forward Shawn Thornton left the game after a first-period fight with John Scott and did not return.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.

RELATED: RANKING THE CAPITALS' TOP PROSPECTS

Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.