WASHINGTON (AP) _ Mike Grier put on a new jersey and had his best night of the season.
``It was a tough night. I'm glad it's over,'' Grier said. ``Once you get out there and see the guys and the coaches on the bench, it's tough. I'm thankful that I got to start and get it over with.''
Grier, who didn't have more than two points in any of his 67 games this season with Washington, was dealt by the Capitals before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline. He played Wednesday on Buffalo's second line with Jochen Hecht and Chris Drury.
That trio combined for three goals, including Grier's backhand into the top of the net that made it 3-0 at 11:39 of the second.
``We were joking in here about the goal he scored, that we haven't seen those hands in years,'' Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig said. ``That's good for him. It gets his nerves under control and his disappointment about being traded over with. I guess there's no better way to get accepted by your teammates than to have a game like he had.''
Martin Biron made 27 saves to earn his first shutout since Jan. 24, 2003, and helped the Sabres move within five points of the New York Islanders in the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
Hecht scored twice, and Dmitri Kalinin, Adam Mair and Daniel Briere added goals for Buffalo, which swept a season series from the Capitals for the first time since the 1990-91 season (4-0).
A game like this was bound to catch up with the Capitals, who were anxious during a salary-dumping trading spree that saw seven veterans find new teams between Jan. 23 and the dealing deadline.
``Maybe this was a day where we'd been playing on edge for so many nights that it's almost a relief,'' Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. ``Once the relief was over, the embarrassment set in and we'll deal with that (Thursday).''
Buffalo is responsible for the two largest victories over the Capitals this season, also winning 7-1 at home on Dec. 31.
Kolzig, who stayed in Washington despite constant rumors that he would be dealt, made 29 saves. He didn't play Monday against Ottawa because of a stomach virus and to protect him from injury in case the Capitals decided to deal him.
Biron wasn't tested nearly as often by the Capitals, who managed just five shots in the second period.
Kalinin gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 4:27 in after taking Miroslav Satan's centering pass from behind the net. Hecht scored his first goal 5:24 into the second period, hustling to the net to knock a loose puck behind Kolzig.
|PPG - Dmitri Kalinin (7) ASST: Miroslav Satan (23)|
1 - 0 BUF
|Jochen Hecht (8) ASST: Chris Drury (28), Michael Grier (13)|
2 - 0 BUF
|Michael Grier (9) ASST: Jochen Hecht (25), Chris Drury (29)|
3 - 0 BUF
|Jochen Hecht (9) ASST: Jay McKee (2), Michael Grier (14)|
4 - 0 BUF
|Adam Mair (4) ASST: Milan Bartovic (3)|
5 - 0 BUF
|Daniel Briere (23) ASST: J-P Dumont (27), Brad Brown (2)|
6 - 0 BUF
|Jay McKee Holding against Craig Johnson|
|Brian Willsie Slashing|
|Brad Brown Fighting (maj) against Rick Berry|
|Rick Berry Fighting (maj) against Brad Brown|
|Bates Battaglia Slashing against Jeff Jillson|
|Stephen Peat Fighting (maj) against Andrew Peters|
|Andrew Peters Fighting (maj) against Stephen Peat|
|Josef Boumedienne Cross checking against Milan Bartovic|
|Brian Willsie Tripping|
|Maxim Afinogenov Diving|