Photo: Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports

Capitals late surge secures 5-1 win over the Sabres

Evander Kane was scratched ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline

February 24, 2018 - 6:19 pm

The Buffalo Sabres made their only trip of the season to our nation's capital on Saturday evening to face the Washington Capitals at Capital One Center. Buffalo did not have Evander Kane in the lineup as management has decided to sit the 26-year old with the trade deadline under 48 hours away. With that, Kane has likely played his last game as a member of the Sabres organization.

In this contest, it was a close game until late when two Alex Ovechkin third period goals and an empty-netter ran up the score to a 5-1 final.

Here's how the game played out:

First Period:

19:10 - CAPITALS GOAL. Evgeny Kuznetsov wastes no time for the Capitals. He gets them out to an early 1-0 lead. Hard to imagine a worse start for the Sabres, putting themselves behind the 8-ball against a good team.

9:04 - The Sabres have had some good chances. Sam Reinhart had a quasi-breakaway, but was stopped. Evan Rodrigues drew a penalty and set up a nice chance by Kyle Okposo. Still trailing by 1 though.

0:00 - Not a bad period for the Sabres. They didn't have many grade A chances in the second half of the period, but neither did Washington. Marco Scandella has been covering Ovechkin a lot, and has done a very good job.


Goal Summary:

WAS: 0:50 - Evgeny Kuznetsov (17) (Connolly, Orlov)

Penalty Summary:


Shots on Goal: 

BUF - 9 ; WAS - 8


Second  Period:

15:50 - The Caps have been all over the Sabres. Andre Burakovsky had a wide open one timer in the slot that Lehner was forced to save. Shots are already 6-2 in the period in favor of Washington.

12:00 -  Both teams are playing good defensively. Casey Nelson continues to make great breakout passes out of his own end.

6:40 - CAPITALS GOAL. Andre Burakovsky scores a highlight reel goal. He makes both Jason Pominville, Scott Wilson, and Rasmus Ristolainen look silly before roofing it over Lehner's shoulder. If Ristolainen is going to be this teams' 1st pair defenseman for years to come, he can't let things like that happen.

1:28 - The Sabres have had a nice push back after giving up the 2nd goal of the game. Both Kyle Okposo and Ryan O'Reilly have done a good job creating chances, but Philipp Grubauer is standing tall.


Goal Summary:

WAS: 13:20 - Andre Burakovsky (8) (Kuzentsov, Niskanen)

Penalty Summary:


Shots on Goal: 

BUF - 9 (18); WAS - 12 (20)

Third Period:

19:46 - SABRES GOAL. Sam Reinhart does it all himself. Reinhart carried the puck into the zone, chipped it by the defender, and roofed a backhand top shelf to make it a 1-goal game.

12:26 - Ristolainen got deked out for the second time tonight. Kuznetsov put a toe drag on Risto, and cut the net, nearly scoring a goal.

9:47- CAPITALS GOAL. Alex Ovechkin on the powerplay from his office on the left side. It's his 37th of the season, which leads the league. 

1:12 - CAPITALS GOAL. Ovechkin again. This time a deflection in front. The guy just can't not score goals.


Goal Summary:

BUF: 0:14 - Sam Reinhart (14) (Nelson)
WAS: 10:13 - Alex Ovechkin (37) (Kuznetsov, Carlson)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: Kyle Okposo (2 min., goaltender interference)
WAS: Andre Burakovsky (2 min., delay of game)

Shots on Goal: 

BUF -  11 (29); WAS -  16 (36)


BUF: Robin Lehner - 31 saves
WAS: Philipp Grubauer - 28 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 of 2 (0%)
WAS: 1 of 1 (100%)

Three Stars:

  1. Evgeny Kuznetsov - WAS
  2. Philipp Grubauer - WAS
  3. Alex Ovechkin - WAS

What's Next:

The Sabres have a quick turnaround as they will host the Boston Bruins on Sunday at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 5 p.m. on WGR with the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show starting at 4 p.m. with Brian Koziol.

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