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Toby Petersen #20 of the Edmonton Oilers looks up after he shot the puck high as he was pressured by Marco Sturm #16 of the Boston Bruins on February 13, 2007 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeated the Oilers 3-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Elsa/2007 Getty Images

Guess this is what happens when you lose 6-0 to conference rival New York Rangers:

The Washington Capitals went out and rolled the dice on Marco Sturm, grabbing him off waivers Saturday from the Los Angeles Kings, where he just never fit in.

Washington is in need of scoring, though whether Sturm can provide that or not, remains to be seen. Sturm has scored 30 goals in an NHL season before, but he wasn't playing at all until December, after off-season knee surgery, and his first move this season - from the Boston Bruins to the Kings - was delayed once for medical reasons.

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Sturm's tendonitis has acted up this year again, and his numbers with Los Angeles - just four goals in 17 games - don't exactly inspire confidence. But more and more teams around the league appear to be balking at the asking price for the Edmonton Oilers' Ales Hemsky and thus are seeking cheaper alternatives.

Carolina grabbed one the other day, getting Cory Stillman for a fifth-round pick and prospect Ryan Carter. Stillman won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 the year after the lockout, after winning one with the Tampa Bay Lightning the year before the lockout. He too has been plagued by injuries these past few years, but when healthy, can contribute scoring and playoff experience.

Now Sturm, who likely will play a top-six role for Washington because of an injury to Eric Fehr and a mystifying inability to duplicate last year's scoring numbers - a direct result of coach Bruce Boudreau's desire to see his team pay stricter attention to defence. Didn't see it against the Rangers, but for the most part, Washington is better in low-scoring games, this year as opposed to last year. Sadly, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction - the trick, over the final quarter of the season, will be to see if it can land somewhere in the middle. Otherwise, it figures to be another year of underachieving results at playoff time for Alex Ovechkin and Co.

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About the Author

Eric was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's grad school of journalism, he began covering hockey in 1978 and after spending 20 years covering the NHL and the Calgary Flames, joined The Globe in 2000. More

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