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Ryan McDonagh

Smith-Pelly, Kempny are perfect pieces of Caps' Cup puzzle

A salary-cap squeeze threatened to slam the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup window shut. Instead, it busted it wide open.

When the dollars didn't add up to be able to keep a handful of key contributors to back-to-back Presidents' Trophy-winning teams, the Capitals went bargain hunting to sign bought-out winger Devante Smith-Pelly, who general manager Brian MacLellan termed a "project." Up against the cap at the trade deadline, they acquired lightly used defenseman Michal Kempny from Chicago.

"Some of the best acquisitions are ones that are under the radar, ones that fit almost seamlessly," coach Barry Trotz said. "Some of the best deals that...

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