Capitals Storm Back In The Third But Fall To Sabres 3-2 (SO); Alex Ovechkin Scores 48th Of The Season

Photo: Bill Wippert/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Buffalo Sabres, who snapped a six-game regulation losing streak, by a score of 3-2 in a shootout at KeyBank Center on Monday night. The point elevated the Capitals over the Philadelphia Flyers by a point for the Metropolitan Division lead, though the Flyers have a game in hand on them now. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the loss.

Capitals’ Lines at Sabres

The Capitals made no lineup changes after their 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon.

First Period

Forward Victor Olafsson roofed one over Holtby’s glove from the right dot after receiving a cross-ice feed from forward Marcus Johansson to open the scoring for the Sabres at 4:53.

The Capitals led 9-8 in shots, 6-4 in blocked shots, and failed to score on one power-play opportunity in the first.

The Sabres led 3-2 in takeaways and won 55% of the faceoffs through 20 minutes.

Each team was credited with three giveaways and two hits through one.

Second Period

Captain Jack Eichel rocketed one past Holtby from the left circle into a wide open net after the Sabres’ power-play moved the puck around on a diamond formation to make it 2-0 53 seconds into the period.

The Capitals led 8-7 in blocked shots, won 52% of the draws, and failed to convert on their lone power-play through two.

The Sabres led 9-8 in second-period shots, 10-7 in hits, 4-2 in takeaways, had three giveaways while the Capitals had eight, and scored on one of their two power-plays in the first two periods.

Third Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin shot one through the five-hole of goaltender Linus Ullmark after a small deke around forward Kyle Okposo off of a draw to cut the Sabres’ lead in half and tie Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the NHL lead in goals at 48 3:33 into the third.

A shot by defenseman Dmitry Orlov from the slot caramed in off of Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who was battling with Ovechkin at the side of the net, and in to tie it for the Capitals with 6:49 left.

The Capitals led 35-26 in shots, including 16-5 in the third, 8-7 in blocked shots, won 52% of the draws, and failed to convert on their lone power-play.

The Sabres led 14-13 in hits, 7-3 in takeaways, 12-10 in blocked shots, won 54% of the faceoffs, had six giveaways while the Capitals had eight, and scored on one of their three power-plays.

The game would go to overtime.


The Sabres outshot the Capitals 4-2 in the extra session. The game would go to a shootout.


Sabres captain Jack Eichel was thwarted with the right pad by Holtby.

Forward T.J. Oshie was shut down of the five-hole by Ullmark.

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart was turned aside on the backhand with the blocker by Holtby.

Ilya Kovalchuk was turned aside with the pad by Ullmark.

Olofsson skated in but was robbed by the pad of a Holtby.

Center Nicklas Backstrom was denied through the five-hole by Ullmark.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin wound up and beat Holtby through the five-hole.

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov waited and ripped it by the blocker from the slot to tie it and extend the shootout.

Forward Jimmy Vesey was denied by Holtby by the blocker after cradling it and shooting.

Ovechkin missed the glove side wide after skating in.

Johansson missed it far to the left post.

Forward Jakub Vrana went forehand to backhand but was robbed by the glove of Ullmark.

Forward Dominik Kahun backhanded one through the five-hole after gliding in to give the Sabres the lead.

Forward Richard Panik was shut down by the pad of Ullmark, securing the win for the Sabres.

The Capitals return home to start a three-game home stand against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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