Goaltender Don Beaupre was brilliant Tuesday night in his return to the arena where he played for six seasons.
Unfortunately for him, his old team performed even better.
The last Washington goalie to record back-to-back shutouts was Beaupre, who blanked New Jersey and Philadelphia in the 1990-91 season. Beaupre won 128 games with the Capitals before being traded to the Senators in January.
Peter Bondra scored the only goal with 6:59 left, taking a centering pass from Michal Pivonka and faking Beaupre before putting the puck into the left side of the net.
"Beaupre played a great game. He was flawless," Carey said. "You can't blame him for a breakaway."
"My defense really played well in front of me tonight," Carey said after his third NHL shutout.
Stevens, playing in his second game after missing 21 because of a broken ankle, scored the game-winning goal with 8:33 remaining in the third period as Buffalo sustained its third consecutive loss.
Wayne Presley and Pat LaFontaine scored for the Sabres, who have lost four of their last six games.
It was the 18th career hat trick for Nicholls and his third this season. Chris Chelios had a career-best five assists for the Blackhawks.
Viktor Kozlov scored his first NHL goal for the Sharks.
Geoff Courtnall, Martin Gelinas and Christian Ruuttu scored for the Canucks. Dave Andreychuck netted the Maple Leafs' goal.