The Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 (SO) Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 20-9-3 (43 points). The Capitals are now off until Wednesday when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is 8:00PM.
The Capitals would give up the first goal of the game but respond with scores from Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana for a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. The Sabres would score two power play goals in the middle frame to retake the lead before Alex Ovechkin would score for a 3-3 tie at the end of two periods. After a scoreless third period,
Pheonix Copley (6-2-1, 2.95 GAA, .902 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Carter Hutton (13-8-1, 2.53 GAA, .919 sv%) started in goal for the visiting Sabres. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Andre Burakovsky, Dmitrij Jaskin and Tyler Lewington. The Capitals recalled Lewington earlier in the day.
The Sabres would strike first with a goal from Jack Eichel at 2:41 of the first period.
But the Caps would strike back. Brett Connolly would pot his seventh goal of the season at 3:39 for the 1-1 tie. Devante Smith-Pelly would make a nice play below the goal line, and find Brett Connolly camping on the doorstep for the easy finish. Devante Smith-Pelly was credited with the lone assist.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 2-1 with a goal from Jakub Vrana at 8:41 of the opening frame. Evgeny Kuznetsov was credited with the lone assist. The goal was Vrana’s 10th of the season.
Vrana isolation on the goal:
The period would end with the Capitals holding on to a 2-1 lead. The Caps outshot the Sabres 10-8 for the first 20 minutes. The Capitals out-attempted the Sabres 19-16 for the first period.
The Sabres would tie the game early in the middle frame with a power play goal from Jack Eichel, his second of the game, at 2:25 of the second period. Eichel would split Nic Dowd and Dmitri Orlov for the close range snipe.
The Sabres would retake the lead with a power play goal from Rasmus Dahlin at 7:21 of the second period, giving the Sabres a 3-2 lead.
The Capitals would tie the game with a blistering rocket from Alex Ovechkin at 13:46 of the second period. Nicklas Backstrom and Dmitry Orlov were credited with the helpers.
The period would end with the game tied 3-3. The Capitals outshot the Sabres 15-9 in the middle frame, and 25-17 after two periods. The Sabres were 2 for 3 and the Capitals 0 for 3 on the power play after 40 minutes of play.
The Capitals and Sabres remained tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. The Capitals outshot the Sabres 10-4 in the final frame.
The overtime would also go scoreless. The Capitals would win it in the shootout with scores from Kuznetsov and Ovechkin.
- The Capitals outshot the Sabres 38-28.
- The Capitals won the battle at the dot 53-47%.
- Alex Ovechkin’s six game goal streak is one shy of matching his career high streak set as a rookie in 2005-06 (Feb. 10 – March 8, 2006: 8 goals in 7 games).
- He has recorded a point in 14 straight games (17g, 6a), the longest point streak of his career (previously 13 games, Dec. 30, 2006 through Feb. 1, 2007, 20 points).
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT