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Halak on the move again, this time to Washington

4:30 PM, Mar 5, 2014   |    comments
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Arlington, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jaroslav Halak's tenure in Buffalo lasted less than five days.

At Wednesday's trade deadline, the Washington Capitals scooped up Halak and a third-round draft pick in 2015 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for goaltender Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla.

The 28-year-old Slovakian backstop landed in western New York this past Friday, in a multi-player deal with the Blues which saw Ryan Miller shipped to St. Louis.

But Halak had yet to appear in a game for the Eastern Conference's worst club, after racking up a 24-9-4 mark, 2.23 goals-against average and four shutouts in 40 games with St. Louis.

The Caps, needing to stay afloat in the competitive Metropolitan Division, haven't been able to find a clear No. 1 goaltender despite having Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov, Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer in the system.

Halak helped the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens author a seven-game, first- round upset against the top-seeded Capitals in the 2010 playoffs.

Neuvirth, 25, went 4-6-2 with a 2.82 GAA in 13 games with the Caps in 2013-14. Since breaking into the NHL during the 2008-09 season, he compiled a 59-41-13 mark, 2.67 GAA and seven whitewashes. His best year was 2010-11, leading Washington to a Southeast Division crown by going 27-12-4 with a 2.45 GAA and a career-best four shutouts.

Klesla was acquired from Phoenix on Tuesday for Martin Erat. The 31-year-old Czech tallied a goal and four points in 25 games for the Coyotes before the transaction. The veteran of 659 NHL games has compiled 620 penalty minutes in that span, along with 48 goals and 111 assists.

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