GAME 63 REVIEW: Caps Dump Sabres 3-1 on Busy Trade Day

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, March 03, 2010 | , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals got goals from Jason Chimera, Mike Green and Boyd Gordon, and Jose Theodore outdueled Olympic hero Ryan Miller, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 before a sellout crowd at HSBC Center in Buffalo.

Theodore made 23 saves in the win, as the Caps outshot Buffalo 40-24 in a choppy game that at times resembled an early season contest where the two teams were just trying to find their game legs.

After the two week break for the Olympic tournament, it's not surprising that the teams would show some rust.  In this one, the Caps showed less rust, and kept their legs longer in the match, as Buffalo seemed to run out of steam in the third period.

Jeff Schultz had two assists in the contest.

The game marked the return of Ryan Miller to the Buffalo lineup and he played admirably, especially in the first period.  But the Caps had their own hero this night in Theodore. 

"When you play against a guy like Miller, you know he's not going to give up too many goals," Theodore told the media after the game. "It was a real tight hockey game, and I'm really happy with the way we got the win."

"He makes the saves, and that's what wins you the big games," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's what Miller does for them, and that's what we got from Jose."

The win marked the culmination of a busy day for the Capitals, as GM George McPhee made four deals to bolster the team for the stretch run and the hoefully long playoff drive.

The Caps acquired D Joe Corvo, RW Scott Walker, C Eric Belanger and re-acquired former D Milan Jurcina from Columbus just six weeks after trading him there with Chris Clark.

McPhee completed the deals by surrendering just one player off the big league club, defenseman Brian Pothier, who goes to Carolina in the Corvo deal, and one player from AHL Hershey, winger Oskar Osala, who went in the same deal.

The rest of the compensation involved draft picks in the 2010 and 2011 drafts.

So a busy trade deadline day followed by a big win over a top-notch goalie.  Just another day in the office? 

Not quite, but it does signal a return to work for the league's top team.