Choosing payroll flexibility over the presence of a nearly 36-year-old, potentially Hall of Fame-bound center, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks...

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Choosing payroll flexibility over the presence of a nearly 36-year-old, potentially Hall of Fame-bound center, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Tuesday traded Sergei Fedorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Escaping the remaining two-plus seasons of Fedorov’s contract, which calls for him to receive $6.08 million annually, gives the Ducks an immediate salary-cap savings of more than $4.6 million.

While also sending a fifth-round selection in next year’s entry draft to Columbus, the Ducks received journeyman center Tyler Wright and rookie defenseman Francois Beauchemin from the Blue Jackets. Each is signed for this season and next, with Wright at $947,133 and Beauchemin at $500,000.

“I couldn’t sell this as a stand-alone hockey deal, and I wouldn’t try,” Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. “It’s a cap move, but we also like the players we got.

“This deal does two things. It gives us some cap room, and it solves what really is almost a crisis right now. We had set aside, as many teams did, a reserve of about a million-and-a-half dollars to deal with injuries. That was inadequate.”

Before the trade, the Ducks’ salary-cap figure was nearly $38.1 million, barely $900,000 less than the league maximum. Earlier this month, when Fedorov was among five players out with injuries, the club was one injury from having to start a lineup of fewer than the maximum 20 players.

With their cap figure now at about $33.5 million, the Ducks are in position to add at least another player or two, likely in short order.

“We intend to re-invest this money,” Burke said. “We intend to spend at or near the cap, less an adequate reserve for injuries.”

Burke denied the club’s 7-7-4 record influenced the trade of Fedorov.

“That’s not enough to make me panic,” Burke said.

Tuesday’s games

Hurricanes 2, at Senators 1

Martin Gerber made 35 saves to lead Carolina over Ottawa.

Two of the Senators’ three losses this season have come against Carolina.

Ray Whitney and Mike Commodore scored second-period goals for the Hurricanes, who have won nine of their last 10 games.

Dominik Hasek made 17 saves, and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa, picking up his 600th career point.

At Capitals 4, Lightning 3 (SO)

Rookie Alexander Ovechkin forced overtime by scoring with 1:15 left, then got the only goal in a shootout to rally Washington past defending champion Tampa Bay.

Ben Clymer and Bryan Muir also scored for the Capitals, who ended a four-game skid.

Fredrik Modin had two goals for the Lightning.

At Maple Leafs 2, Rangers 1

Bryan McCabe scored two power-play goals, leading Toronto over New York.

Jaromir Jagr scored his league-leading 18th goal for the Rangers, who dropped to 3-1 on their five-game trip.

Eric Lindros faced New York for the first time since signing with Toronto over the summer, and played a physical game.

At Sabres 4, Devils 1

Chris Drury had a goal and assist in Buffalo’s win over New Jersey, helping the Sabres snap an 11-game winless streak against the Devils.

J.P. Dumont also had a goal and assist for Buffalo.

At Canadiens 4, Panthers 3 (OT)

Saku Koivu scored his second goal of the game with four seconds remaining in overtime to lift Montreal past Florida, extending the Panthers’ season-high losing streak to nine games.

Stephen Weiss drew the Panthers even 15:11 into the third, briefly silencing the sellout crowd of 21,273 as Florida came back with three straight goals in the period to tie it at 3.

At Predators 3, Kings 2

Paul Kariya and Kimmo Timonen each had a goal and an assist to lead Nashville past Los Angeles.

Adam Hall snapped a 2-2 tie with 13:26 left in the third period on a power-play goal. It was the fourth straight win for the Predators.


• Los Angeles forward Sean Avery was fined $1,000 by the league for comments he made to the Los Angeles Times after being fined $1,000 for diving during a Nov. 3 game against Phoenix. Avery was upset because he was cited for his second diving offense of the season.