The Washington Capitals are running out of excuses.
By pulling off a last minute deal to bring goalie Jaroslav Halak to the U.S. capital on Wednesday, general manager George McPhee rolled the dice that Alex Ovechkin and co. can still make a deep playoff run this year.
Of course, they still have to make the post-season first. Entering play on Wednesday, the Caps were one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Caps also received a third-round pick from Buffalo, while the Sabres received goalie Michal Neuvirth and defenceman Rostislav Klesla.
It marked the second time in less than a week that Halak has been traded. The two-time all-star was traded to Buffalo last Friday in the deal that sent goalie Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues.
Halak is 24-9-4 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in 40 games this season. He will battle for net time with incumbent Braden Holtby.
On Tuesday, the Caps also bolstered their forward corps, bringing in hulking Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks. Count on Penner to create chaos in front of the opposing net on the power play, using his big body to screen while Alex Ovechkin fires his patented slapshots all night.