- In addition to the two goals, Walker also took a couple jabs at pest Steve Downie the shift after Downie and Alex Ovechkin had words. Walker said it's part of his job. "You just gotta make sure they know. You can't have guys taking shots at [Ovechkin]. It doesn't always mean fighting, you just gotta let them know you're out there."
- Mike Knuble added two goals (24, 25). The first he took a nice crossing pass from Brooks Laich and snapped it past Smith. On the second, he gathered a rebound from Backstrom and whipped a backhand just inside the post.
- Eric Fehr started the scoring with his 16th goal of the season, a rising wrist shot that handcuffed Smith early in the game.
- Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves in the win. Boudreau said of the effort, "I thought he looked like he was moving fine...The bottom line is he plays and you win."
- The Caps were 0-for-4 on the power play, and 2-for-6 on the penalty kill.
- With the three healthy additions from the trade deadline (Walker, Eric Belanger and Joe Corvo) in the lineup, defensemen John Erskine and Tyler Sloan, and forwards David Steckel, Matt Bradley and Quentin Laing were healthy scratches and watched from the press box. Injured D Milan Jurcina, re-acquired at the deadline, will miss 2-4 weeks with a sports hernia.
- Courtesy of Nate Ewell, Caps Media Relations: With 18 games left, Caps already have the 8th-most points (94) in their history and 7th-most wins (43).
- The victory improves the Caps record to 43-13-8 (94 points) and increases their Eastern Conference lead to 14 points over the second place Pittsburgh Penguins. Washington now has a five-point lead over Chicago and San Jose Sharks for the President’s Trophy.
- With an assist on Knuble's second goal, Alex Ovechkin now has 90 points on the season.
- Steve Stamkos scored his 39th goal of the season for the Lightning.
- Vincent Lecavalier scored twice for Tampa Bay.
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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.