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Galiev returns to Caps following conditioning stint

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Galiev returns to Caps following conditioning stint

Fresh off a five-game conditioning stint in which he recorded three goals for the Hershey Bears, right wing Stan Galiev was recalled by the Capitals on Monday and is expected to take the ice when the big club returns to practice on Tuesday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Galiev, 23, made the Caps’ roster out of training camp but played in just two of the team’s first 11 games. He was sent to the Bears on a conditioning stint on Nov. 5 and scored three goals in his first two games. Galiev did not record a point for the Bears in their next three games, lopsided losses to Wilkes-Barre Scranton (7-0) and Bridgeport (5-0) and a 3-1 win over Rochester.

Under CBA rules, Galiev could have remained in Hershey for the full 14-day conditioning assignment, but since the Bears don’t play until Friday, the Caps, who were carrying 12 healthy forwards, recalled him and are expected to take him to Detroit for Wednesday night’s game against the Red Wings.

In two games for the Caps this season Galiev recorded one assist. He spent the first month of the season as a spare part for the Caps behind right wingers T.J. Oshie, Andre Burakovsky, Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie.

"We all know what Galiev's strengths are, and he needs to continue to work on his board play and defensive game," Bears coach Troy Mann said last week. "I think it got a lot better last year as the season progressed. Unfortunately for him, there's some huge depth on the right side in Washington with T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams and Tom Wilson, plus Andre Burakovsky is playing there because there's too much depth on the left side, too.

"Galli's biggest problem right now is the depth at his position. I don't see him as a fourth-line type of player. To put him in and give him six or seven minutes of ice time, you're not going to see the true value of the player there. He needs to get quality minutes because he's a skilled guy."

Under CBA rules, an NHL player is granted only one conditioning assignment per season. That means that if the Caps want to re-assign Galiev to the Bears he will first need to clear waivers.

Winger Chris Brown falls under the same category. Currently on a conditioning assignment with the Bears, he has no points and four penalty minutes in his first two games with the Bears. Brown can remain in Hershey until Nov. 27, at which point he must return to the Caps.

RELATED: Caps look to rekindle a spark between Ovi, Backy

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.

A quick start

Strong starts go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a group in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the opening 20 minutes.

RELATED: SEE THE 3 STARS FROM CAPS-SABRES HERE

Andre Burakovsky snapping a second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked for much of the season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play from the office. He would later add a deflection goal to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.

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3 stars of the game: Caps erupt in 3rd for dominant win over Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps erupt in 3rd for dominant win over Sabres

The Capitals needed a win in the worst way and they got one, dispatching the Buffalo Sabres in dominating fashion with a 5-1 win.

Washington was locked in a tight game leading 2-0 heading into the third period when Sam Reinhart scored just 14 seconds into the period to pull Buffalo to within one. The Caps then slammed the door shut, scoring three unanswered goals to put away the Sabres.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Alex Ovechkin: This was career game No. 983 for Ovechkin, tying him for the franchise record for most games played with Calle Johansson. Ovechkin very fittingly celebrated the occasion with two goals. The first came on a power play goal from the office, but there was no need for a one-timer on this one. The Sabres gave him all the time he needed to aim up the shot and wrist it into the top corner.

He added a second goal late off a deflection from a John Carlson shot.

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: To say the Caps have struggled at the start of games would be an understatement. In the last 18 games, Washington has held the lead after the first period only once. Kuznetsov made sure this game started off on the right foot as he scored just 50 seconds into the game. He turned on the jets in the neutral zone to turn the edge on Jason Pominville then easily skated around a weak, ill-advised challenge from Robin Lehner before flinging the puck into the yawning net.

It was the fastest goal to start a game by the Caps this season. It was just the start of what would be a four-point night for the Caps' center as he added three assists.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky had the highlight of the game with his end-to-end goal in the second period to put Washington up 2-0. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he launched himself from the defensive zone, streaked down the center of the ice and in on net to slide the puck through the Lehner's five-hole.

Look how Burakovsky was able to slice through the Sabres' defense. Buffalo had him surrounded, but his speed caught the Sabres off-guard and they were not able to recover in time to actually slow him down.