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Caps give D Niskanen 7-year deal

Arlington, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Niskanen parlayed a breakout season into a huge payday as a free agent.

The Washington Capitals signed the defenseman to a seven-year, $40.25 million contract on Tuesday.

Niskanen set career highs across the board in 2013-14 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He compiled 10 goals and 36 assists in 81 games and led all NHL blueliners with a plus-33 rating.

"We are very excited that Matt Niskanen has chosen to sign with Washington," said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. "At 27 years of age, he is just entering his prime for a defenseman. We feel he will be a staple on our blueline for many years to come. We have stated all along that upgrading the defense was our top priority this offseason and we feel we accomplished our goal with our signings today."

The Capitals inked Niskanen's former Pittsburgh teammate Brooks Orpik to a five-year, $27.5 million contract earlier Tuesday.

A 2005 first-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars, Niskanen has 35 goals and 132 assists in 491 career games.

07/01 17:27:16 ET

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Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
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CAR 19
PIT 37
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NYY 5
TOR 2
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MIA 1
WAS 2
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BAL 2
BOS 3
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PIT 1
MIL 0
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ATL 2
NYM 10
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TAM 5
CWS 10
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MIN 2
CLE 7
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KAN 5
DET 2
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HOU 8
SEA 3
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CHC 5
LOS 8
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ANA 1
TEX 2
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OAK 8
PHI 6
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COL 8
ARI 3
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SDP 8
SFG 2
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STL 2
CIN 7
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CLE 21
BAL 23
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DAL 34
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DET 19
GBP 7
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NYG 30
HOU 17
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JAC 17
IND 44
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NOS 20
MIN 9
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NEP 16
OAK 9
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BUF 10
SDC 22
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CIN 33
TEN 7
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PHI 37
WAS 34
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ARI 23
SFX 14
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SEA 26
DEN 20
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MIA 15
KAN 34
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CAR 19
PIT 37
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NYJ
CHI