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Capitals Insider: February 20, 2011 - February 26, 2011

Open thread: Capitals at Islanders

Faceoff: 7 p.m., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum; TV: CSN; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText { display: none;} var now = new Date(); var nowSecs = now.getTime(); document.write( ' ' ); Goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was originally slated to start against the Islanders, left the ice for the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (630)
Categories:  Lineups, New York Islanders  
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Marco Sturm excited for a fresh start with Capitals

It's been a rocky year for veteran left wing Marco Sturm. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in May, Sturm, then a member of the Boston Bruins, tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee, which would require offseason surgery. Sturm had already undergone surgery in 2008...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Marco Sturm, Trade deadline  
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Mathieu Perreault reassigned to Hershey, Todd Ford to backup on Long Island

In more of what's turning out to be a whirl wind afternoon for the Capitals in terms of roster movement, Mathieu Perreault has been reassigned to Hershey a team spokesman confirmed. Washington recalled forward Jay Beagle earlier in the day and he's expected to face the Islanders this evening. There...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
Categories:  Mathieu Perreault, Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov  
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Capitals claim Marco Sturm off waivers

The Capitals have claimed veteran left wing Marco Sturm, 32, off of waivers. The Los Angeles Kings placed Sturm, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2010-11 season and who will earn $3.5 million this season in the final year of his current contract. Sturm...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (185)
Categories:  Marco Sturm  
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Jay Beagle recalled, Semyon Varlamov to start against Islanders

The Capitals have recalled forward Jay Beagle, who will be available for tonight's game against the Islanders and will likely appear in the contest. It sounds like Mathieu Perreault, who has struggled lately, will be who sits tonight with Beagle in the mix. --Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't elaborate on Mike...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Jay Beagle, New York Islanders  
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Home losing streak stretches to three in a row

Among the myriad concerns for the Washington Capitals following last night's 6-0 loss to the New York Rangers at Verizon Center, at the top of the list is the recent slide at home, where victories were all but a formality last season. Washington has lost three straight at home and...

By Gene Wang  | February 26, 2011; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Mike Knuble  
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Positives from Capitals' road trip a distant memory

The Washington Capitals spent a week on the road trying to become a more steady outfit, and most recently with three wins in four games away from Verizon Center, it appeared they were on to something. Then over 60 minutes last night, all that equity evaporated. Gone and forgotten it...

By Gene Wang  | February 26, 2011; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Bruce Boudreau, Mike Knuble  
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Mike Green hit on the head in Capitals' 6-0 loss to the Rangers

The Capitals' 6-0 loss to the Rangers on Friday night at Verizon Center marked Washington's worst home loss since Nov. 24, 2006, and continued the team's ongoing one-step-forward, two-steps-back trend that has prevailed throughout the season. Arguably the worst part of the Capitals' ninth shutout of the 2010-11 season,...

By Katie Carrera  | February 26, 2011; 12:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green, New York Rangers  
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Open thread: Capitals vs. Rangers

Faceoff: 7 p.m., Verizon Center; TV: CSN; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText { display: none;} var now = new Date(); var nowSecs = now.getTime(); document.write( ' ' ); Update: 6:37 p.m. Mike Green skated in the warmup line rushes alongside John Erskine, so it looks like the...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 25, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (486)
Categories:  Lineups, New York Rangers  
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Bruce Boudreau talks about bringing new players into the fold after trades

While the Capitals have yet to make a move with the trade deadline looming on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m., they have plenty of experience -- with mixed reviews -- trying to integrate players with only 20 or so games remaining in the regular season. With the exception of 2009,...

By Katie Carrera  | February 25, 2011; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Trade deadline  
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Nicklas Backstrom expects to play against Rangers, Mike Green uncertain

Nicklas Backstrom said he expects to play against the Rangers tonight at Verizon Center. His left thumb, which was fractured by a slash from Pittsburgh's Kris Letang on Monday, is wrapped up rather well with tape and gauze, but the Capitals' top-line center is hopeful that it won't impede his...

By Katie Carrera  | February 25, 2011; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Capitals host Rangers in search of third straight win

The Capitals' longest winning streak at home this season was seven games beginning Oct. 23 against Atlanta and wrapping up Nov. 17 against Buffalo. Since then, the most consecutive wins they've strung together at Verizon Center during this up-and-down season is two. As the Capitals face the Rangers at home...

By Katie Carrera  | February 25, 2011; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Caps soaking up time at home before another long road trip

The Caps' practice today was their first at Kettler Capitals Iceplex since Feb. 11, and after their grueling, five-city road trip it was clear the players are happy to be home. The team had two days off from practice before today, and both the return home and the time off...

By Greg Schimmel  | February 24, 2011; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (194)
 
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Caps still silent as trade deadline approaches

There's been plenty of trade activity today among Eastern Conference teams, but the Capitals have yet to make a move. Here's a rundown of some of the trades that have gone down today: --The ailing Penguins are bringing back forward Alex Kovalev, acquiring the 38-year-old Russian from Ottawa in exchange...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 24, 2011; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Caps prospect Dmitri Orlov impresses fellow defensemen at practice

Dmitri Orlov practiced with the Caps on Thursday only because visa issues prohibited him from traveling to Toronto with Hershey, but his presence at Kettler Capitals Iceplex gave the coaching staff an up-close midseason glimpse of the young defensive prospect. Orlov, a standout on Russia's gold medal-winning team at the...

By Greg Schimmel  | February 24, 2011; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Dmitri Orlov, Prospects  
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Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green expected to play against Rangers

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he expects Nicklas Backstrom to play against the New York Rangers on Friday and that the Capitals' top-line center is "gonna be fine." Backstrom suffered a minor fracture to his left thumb in Pittsburgh on Monday, when he was slashed by Penguins. defenseman Kris Letang in...

By Katie Carrera  | February 24, 2011; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Eric Fehr, Injuries, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Poti  
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Dmitri Orlov joins Capitals at practice, Mike Green not skating

UPDATE According to a Capitals spokesman, Mike Green is out sick with the same nasty cold that sidelined Matt Hendricks earlier in the week. Also, Orlov is in Washington simply to get some practice time in. Orlov, who arrived in the United States just this past weekend, was prohibited from...

By Greg Schimmel  | February 24, 2011; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  Dmitri Orlov, Mike Green  
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Statistical analysis: Alex Ovechkin at even strength, then and now

There have been many theories as to why Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin is on a 32-goal pace. Some say he never recovered from the loss to Canada in the Olympic quarterfinals. Or perhaps it was the loss to Montreal in the first round of the playoffs last year. Is he...

By Neil Greenberg  | February 24, 2011; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Statistical analysis  
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Capitals glad to be home, look to build off road trip success

The Washington Capitals don't have many home games remaining on their regular-season schedule, 11 to be exact, including Friday's game at Verizon Center against the New York Rangers. After closing out their road trip with two wins, the Capitals want to roll that success into more of it in the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 24, 2011; 8:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Matt Hendricks: 'All I want to do is win'

Matt Hendricks arrived in Washington for training camp this past September on a professional tryout contract, determined to make an impression with the Capitals. Five months later, the gritty utility forward is a fan favorite who will be in the fold for the next two seasons. Washington signed the 29-year-old...

By Katie Carrera  | February 23, 2011; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Matt Hendricks  
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Boudreau 'confident' Nicklas Backstrom's injury is not serious

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom did suffer a small fracture in his thumb Monday night in Pittsburgh, as was also tweeted by TSN's Bob McKenzie a few minutes ago. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he expects Backstrom, who has yet to miss a game in his NHL career and rarely misses practice,...

By Katie Carrera  | February 23, 2011; 3:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Injuries, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Capitals sign Matt Hendricks to a two-year extension

The Capitals have signed forward Matt Hendricks to a two-year extension worth $1.6 million, the team announced Wednesday. Hendricks joined Washington on a professional tryout contract at the start of training camp and impressed the Capitals' coaches and front office to be signed to a one-year deal worth $575,000 this...

By Katie Carrera  | February 23, 2011; 1:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Matt Hendricks  
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Brooks Laich: 'This isn't last year's team'

Every time the Capitals have struggled for prolonged periods this season, the topic of discussion has inevitably turned to Coach Bruce Boudreau. Is his system working? Is he a bad motivator? Has he lost the team? But it's not Boudreau's fault, forward Brooks Laich told The Sports Junkies during his...

By Lindsay Applebaum  | February 23, 2011; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  Brooks Laich, Bruce Boudreau  
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Statistical analysis: Scott Hannan's impact

I was asked in the comments of an earlier post to take a look at the impact Scott Hannan has had on Washington's defense. Has the unit been better or worse since the Nov. 30 trade that brought the veteran blueliner to D.C. from Colorado? Before Hannan tradeAfter Hannan trade...

By Neil Greenberg  | February 23, 2011; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Scott Hannan, Statistical analysis  
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Bruce Boudreau reiterates confidence in Varlamov, Neuvirth

In the summer leading up to the 2010-11 season and throughout the first 61 games this year, there were rumors that the Capitals would pursue a veteran goaltender to perhaps supplant one of Washington's 22-year-old options in net, Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov. General Manager George McPhee has routinely denied...

By Katie Carrera  | February 23, 2011; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Morning Roundup  
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Report: Capitals and Rangers closer to playing in Russia in 2011-12 opener

The New York Times reports that the NHL and KHL are close to ironing out details to bring the 2011 NHL Premiere to Russia, with a pair of games between the Capitals and New York Rangers. You can check out the full story here: Both sets of talks were about...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  NHL Premiere  
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Matt Bradley helps get Capitals on track against Penguins

Matt Bradley knew the Capitals came out flat in the first period against the Penguins Monday night, so when the second period started he wanted to make sure he started setting a physical tone. When he saw Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke -- who hit Alex Ovechkin knee-on-knee late in the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  Matt Bradley, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Line change: Should the Caps trade Alexander Semin?

Despite the high level of activity around the NHL as the Feb. 28 trading deadline approaches, the Capitals have been awfully quiet. General Manager George McPhee hasn't ruled a trade out, but he also hasn't given any clues as to whom he might go after -- be it a second-line...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 22, 2011; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
Categories:  Alexander Semin  
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Alex Ovechkin records third goal in four games

Marcus Johansson's pass was simple enough yet perfectly timed late in the second period against Pittsburgh Monday night. He gained possession of a rebound, saw Alex Ovechkin entering the offensive zone and sent the puck in the direction of the Capitals' star left wing. Ovechkin knew the pass was...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Hershey signs Dmitri Orlov to a pro tryout contract

The AHL's Hershey Bears have signed Washington defensive prospect Dmitri Orlov, who was a standout at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, to a professional tryout contract. This is a significant step forward in Orlov's development, but keep in mind that this contract only allows him to train and...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Dmitri Orlov, Hershey Bears  
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Swedish report: Nicklas Backstrom has a fractured thumb

The Capitals declined to comment on whether Nicklas Backstrom would miss time with what the team's No. 1 center told a Swedish news outlet was a fractured thumb after he was slashed by Pittsburgh's Kris Letang on Monday night. The team said Backstrom is day-to-day but did not disclose any...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Injuries, Nicklas Backstrom  
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Number of the night from the Capitals' 1-0 win against Pittsburgh

157 minutes and 47 seconds, otherwise known as how long it has been since a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins has scored a goal against the Capitals. Michal Neuvirth posted his second consecutive shutout against the Penguins in 15 days in Washington's 1-0 win Monday night. He's made 61 saves...

By Katie Carrera  | February 22, 2011; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Morning Roundup, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Caps, Penguins put an emphasis on defense

Monday night's game was not what one has grown to expect in the current era of the Capitals-Penguins rivalry. But this season, as Washington has opted to take a more defensive stance in their own play and struggled to score goals and Pittsburgh has turned to its defense as it...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 11:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Open thread: Capitals at Penguins

The Washington Capitals (31-19-10) conclude their five-game road trip tonight in Pittsburgh, where a win against the rival Penguins (36-19-5) could go a long way. If the Capitals can collect two points tonight, they'll move within one of Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division. They would also finish off...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 21, 2011; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (342)
Categories:  Lineups, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Injury-riddled Penguins have still managed to win

Despite missing both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin for all but one game since Jan. 20, the Pittsburgh Penguins are 7-5-1 in that stretch and hold a five point lead over the Capitals for fourth-place in the Eastern Conference heading into Monday's game. The abundance of injuries to the Penguins...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
Categories:  Pittsburgh Penguins  
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How Mike Green's absence has affected the Capitals

Perhaps where Mike Green's absence over the better part of the last 13 days or so has been on the point on the power play, where the defenseman is usually a constant presence. Sunday in the 2-1 win over Buffalo, because there isn't any other real option to man the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Injuries, John Carlson, Mike Green, Scott Hannan  
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Ask the Caps: John Carlson

Readers sent in questions for Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who has been a steadying presence on the blueline in his first NHL season. Get the New Jersey native's take on his home state and learn why he's a better roommate than defensive partner Karl Alzner: Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 21, 2011; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  John Carlson  
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Mike Green out against Penguins

Coach Bruce Boudreau said defenseman Mike Green will miss a fifth straight game tonight as he will not play in the Capitals' road-trip conclusion in Pittsburgh. Green was struck by a puck near his right ear on Feb. 6 in the most recent meeting against the Penguins and has appeared...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Injuries, Mike Green  
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Amid flurry of trades, Caps have yet to make a move

There have been a lot of moves already made, some expected and some complete surprises, by teams prior to the NHL's 3 p.m. trade deadline on Feb. 28. So many so that NHL pundits and national reporters spent part of the last three days joking about what there would be...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Trade deadline  
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Capitals pursue a perfect set of back-to-back games

The Capitals are in the midst of playing three consecutive sets of back-to-back contests and after finishing their current pair in Pittsburgh on Monday, the next two games will be 24 hours apart on the coming weekend against the New York Rangers and New York Islanders. Back-to-back games are interesting...

By Katie Carrera  | February 21, 2011; 9:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Morning Roundup  
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Mathieu Perreault's two points help boost Capitals over Sabres

Mathieu Perreault knows his biggest challenge in the NHL is consistency, and in 33 games with the Capitals this season he has struggled to make an impact on a regular basis. But on Sunday afternoon, Perreault chipped in when Washington couldn't accept less than two points against the Sabres at...

By Katie Carrera  | February 20, 2011; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres, Mathieu Perreault  
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Capitals finally cash in on the power play to defeat Sabres 2-1

Starting Sunday's matinee against the Sabres off 0-for-4 on the power play it would have been easy for the Capitals to grow irritated with their own inability to score despite a handful of what might be considered 10-bell chances that simply couldn't fool Buffalo's all-star goaltender Ryan Miller. But the...

By Katie Carrera  | February 20, 2011; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Buffalo Sabres, John Carlson, Marcus Johansson  
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Open thread: Capitals at Sabres

Faceoff: 12:30 p.m., HSBC Arena; TV: NBC; Radio: 1500 AM.shsMiniCopyright {display: none; } .shsMiniCopyrightText { display: none;} var now = new Date(); var nowSecs = now.getTime(); document.write( ' ' ); Update: 12:05 p.m. Based on warm-up here's what the lineup should look like against the Sabres: Forwards Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble Laich-Johansson-Semin...

By Washington Post Sports Editors  | February 20, 2011; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (216)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres, Lineups  
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Mike Green won't play against Sabres

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Mike Green will not face the Buffalo Sabres this afternoon making this the fourth game that the defenseman has missed with an inner-ear trauma that was the result of the puck he took to the head on Feb. 6 against the Penguins. Green participated fully in...

By Katie Carrera  | February 20, 2011; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Buffalo Sabres, Injuries, Mike Green, Semyon Varlamov  
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