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Wideman traded to Flames

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Wideman traded to Flames

Capitals general manager George McPhee knew he didnt want to pay Dennis Wideman what he figured hed be worth on the open market.
So when the Calgary Flames asked if they could give the Caps a fifth-round pick in 2013 for the rights to sign him, McPhee jumped at the proposal.
The draft day deal was consummated on Wednesday when the Flames signed Wideman to a five-year, 26.25 million contract.
Based on what we had to do in putting all the payroll models together, it would have been hard to keep him, McPhee said of Wideman He plays right dee and we have two other right defensemen in Mike Green and John Carlson that need new deals and need to play a lot.
In addition to a fifth-rounder the Caps also picked up Jordan Henry, a 26-year-old defenseman who collected 11 points two goals, nine assists and 97 penalty minutes in 68 games with Abbotsford and Chicago of the American Hockey League. He becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
With the loss of Wideman the Caps now have a defensive unit that includes, Green, Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dmitri Orlov, Roman Hamrlik, Jeff Schultz and John Erskine. McPhee said he expects defensive prospect Cameron Schilling to also play in the NHL.
Based on where were going and wanting Dmitry Orlov to play more next year and having cap space to do the right things, we werent going to be able to sign Wideman so we gave Calgary permission to talk to him.
Wideman recorded 46 points 11 goals, 35 assists in 82 games with Washington last season. The Kitchener, Ontario, native was named to his first NHL All-Star Game last season and has tallied 251 points 67 goals, 184 assists in 535 career NHL games with St. Louis, Boston, Florida and Washington.

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3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

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USA TODAY Sports

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 stars go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a team 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 first.

Andre Burakovsky snapping 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 at points this season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo just 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 form the office. He would later add a deflection goal late 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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 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. 893 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 was a power play goal from the office. No need for a one-timer on this one, as the Sabres gave him all the time he needed to aim up the shot and wrist it into the top corner. He added a late 

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 could not slow him down at all.