If you like high-flying offense with a lot of goals, the game between the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night was not the game for you. This was a game between two average offensive teams and only one of those average offenses showed up. Hint, it wasn’t the Capitals. Washington walked out of Buffalo 3-1 losers.
It’s worth reiterating, this was the Capitals third game in four nights, and the Sabres were well rested, Not having played since Saturday.
Shot attempts while 5v5 ended 39-36 Buffalo. In all situations the Sabres also had the upper hand 50-43.
The Caps started this game slow. That has been a little bit of a trend but the good thing is they have gotten better as games have gone along. They didn’t get much better vs the Sabres. There were stretches, like mid first period, the end of the second period and the back half of the third period where the Capitals tried to put pucks on the net but they did not look dangerous offensively all night.
Lets just be honest, that expected goals number is just pathetic. To make it even worse, with just less than ten minutes to go in the third period that number was at .64. The “Oh my god were losing late” mentality really makes that number look better than it is. Up until that point there were almost no red dots in high danger areas. Meanwhile Buffalo had plenty of blue dots in the high danger areas, especially early.
If that graphic doesn’t sum up this game I don’t know what will. The Caps offense didn’t make it to Buffalo.
Not to much to point out here. I thought Nicklas Backstrom had a good night as did the entire second line. The first line was pretty bad in possession all night long. The late push made their numbers look a lot better. At the end of the second period both Ovechkin and Kuznetsov were -7 in shot attempts while Smith-Pelly was -8. Kuznetsov finished +1, Ovechkin was -1 and DSP was -2 at the end of the game.
Back to back nights for Kuznetsov where he was good in the faceoff circle. Against the Coyotes on Monday night, he also won 56% of the faceoffs he took. Perhaps one reason why the Caps didn’t get too much offense going was the fact they were 5-18 at offensive zone draws. Overall they won 48% on the night going 29-60.
Other faceoff takers:
Devante Smith-Pelly: 1 for 2
T.J. Oshie: 0 for 2
Alex Chiasson: 0 for 1
Philipp Grubauer can’t seem to get the team to play in front of him so far this season. They either completely abandon him, like the Flyers game a few weeks back, or the offense doesn’t show up. The Caps backup is now 0-4-1 on the season. Can’t blame this one on him, as he was good tonight.
The Capitals power play failed to get on the board. They did however only get one attempt. I couldn’t really tell if the penalty kill was good or the Sabres power play was just bad. Probably a little bit of both.
The Capitals failed to get a high danger shot attempt for the first two periods of the game. They ended up getting three, all I would guess in the final eight minutes of the game. Buffalo ended up with seven high danger attempts. Scoring chances ended 18-12 in the Sabres advantage as well. The Sabres average 18 scoring chances per game while Washington averages over 21 chances a game.
Not much more to say about this one. Get over the frustration and get ready for the rival Penguins on Friday night.
By CJ Witt