- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Seen and heard last night at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.:

COMING, GOING The Caps recalled defenseman Nolan Yonkman from the Portland (Maine) Pirates of the American Hockey League. Washington returned defenseman Patrick Boileau, who was brought up Saturday and played two games since defenseman Sergei Gonchar went out of the lineup.

Yonkman, 21, is in his first year of pro hockey and is up for the second time. The Caps took a quick look at him for two games in mid January, liked what they saw but sent him back for some more pro experience. He has played 59 games for Portland with three goals and seven points and 116 penalty minutes, which reflects his stay-at-home style.

Yonkman, 6-foot-6, 236 pounds, was drafted fifth by the Caps in 1999, 37th overall, Washington's fourth pick that year in the second round. However, he is the highest ranking draftee still with the team to come out of that class three others (Kris Beech, Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk) were sent to Pittsburgh in the Jaromir Jagr deal and left wing Charlie Stephens was released.

Boileau, 27, is a career minor leaguer who did not measure up to Washington's expectations during this call-up.

STILL NO GONCH Defenseman Sergei Gonchar missed his third game with the concussion he suffered last Thursday night in Toronto. The Caps are hoping the defenseman isn't out as long as Buffalo's Stu Barnes has been with his concussion.

Barnes, the Sabres' captain, was injured March 17 and got back on skates Monday for the first time. He was back on skates yesterday but doesn't have medical clearance and might sit another week, even if he thinks he is fully recovered.

Two of Barnes' 17 goals, including an overtime game-winner, came against the Caps on Jan. 27, a 3-2 Sabres win, the only time this season Washington has lost in overtime.

Dave Fay

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