The Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 Monday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. The Capitals improved their record 27-6-2, while the Sabres record dropped to 15-17-4. The two teams will square-off again Wednesday night at Verizon Center.
The starting lines for the Capitals:
John Carlson was scratched due to a lower body injury he sustained against Montreal on Saturday. The scratch ended a streak of 412 consecutive games played by Carlson. T.J. Oshie got the ‘A’ for this game in place of Carlson. Stanislav Galiev was the healthy scratch for this game. Brooks Orpik missed his 21st straight game.
With John Carlson out, the Caps had to piece together make-shift defensive pairs, but made it work. They endured several early bursts by the Sabres without allowing any goals. Michael Latta injured an arm in a fight with Nicolas Deslauriers in the second period. He would not return for the remainder of the game. The severity of the injury was undetermined as of late Monday night. The NHL game summary can be found here: Individual player stats from the game can be found here:
The Sabres held the early advantage in offensive zone pressure, but the Caps picked up the pace about five minutes into the game. The Caps would get the first power play on an interference call on the Sabres Mike Weber at 5:17 of the first period, but would do very little with the man advantage. The middle of the period saw even end-to-end play with little in the way of scoring chances.The first period would end scoreless. The Sabres would lead in shots on goal, 10-9.
The Sabres stepped up the pressure following the Capitals goal, with significant offensive zone time for the next five minutes of the game. Jay Beagle would be called for slashing at 5:53 of the second period, to give the Sabres their first power play, however the Caps would successfully stifle the Sabres man-advantage. Michael Latta and Nicolas Deslauriers dropped the gloves at 10:49.
Jay Beagle would stretch the Caps lead to 2-0 at 12:55 of the middle frame.
The period would end with the Caps leading 2-0. The Sabres led in shots on goal, 22-16 after two periods of play.
Michael Latta did not return for the third period. The Capitals stepped up the shots on-goal for the early part of the final frame, but could not find the back of the net. Tom Wilson was called for interference at 7:50, giving the Sabres their third power play of the game. The Caps were once again fairly stout, as Buffalo would have difficulty entering and staying inside the offensive zone, and would not threaten on the power play. The Capitals would shut the door on the Sabres, winning 2-0, for their eighth straight win. The Sabres outshot the Caps 31-26 for the game.