Capitals pull surprise by staying put at deadline

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- The Washington Capitals have pulled a surprise at the NHL trade deadline -- by making no moves at all.

The Capitals opted to stay put Monday, even though they could use a center while Nicklas Backstrom is out long-term with a concussion -- and even though veterans Mike Knuble and Roman Hamrlik turned in regular healthy scratches.

The four-time Southeast Division champions were expected to contend again for a Stanley Cup this season. Instead, they sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 20 games to play.

General manager George McPhee appeared to set the stage for some deals early Monday when he placed Backstrom on the long-term injured list, a move that could net some $7.6 million in salary cap space.