Final: BUF 3 WSH 1
Shots: BUF 32 WSH 25
Power Play: BUF 0/4 WSH 0/1
Hits: BUF 19 WSH 22
Blocked Shots: BUF 12 WSH 8
BUF: Evander Kane (8) assisted by Jack Eichel (10)
WSH: Alex Ovechkin (13) assisted by Devante Smith-Pelly (4) and Brooks Orpik (3)
BUF: Benoit Pouliot (5) unassisted
BUF: Evander Kane (9) assisted by Jason Pominville (7)
The Sabres had an absolutely horrific game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Tonight they faced a Capitals team that is on the 2nd game of a back to back. The Sabres would give Robin Lehner the start tonight after he was pulled after giving up 3 early goals in Dallas. Washington gave Philipp Grubauer the start in goal tonight. Grubauer for some reason seems to always play well against Buffalo going back to his rookie season.
Buffalo came out of the gate playing hard. They were outshooting the Caps early and were getting a lot of chances highlighted by a great pass by Eichel to Zemgus Girgensons who then completely missed the net.
Buffalo had a couple of power plays in the 1st and they looked much more aggressive than usual. They were getting a lot of shots off on Grubauer. Buffalo outshot the Caps 15-4 in the 1st period. They looked like a completely different team in that period.
Buffalo carried the momentum into the 2nd period. Eichel won an offensive zone faceoff, made a pass to Evander Kane from behind the net, and Kane slotted it past Grubauer for his 8th of the season.
Tom Wilson stepped up and flattened Sam Reinhart and Jake McCabe stepped up for his teammate and fought Wilson. McCabe lost the fight but, I liked to see McCabe step up for Reinhart there.
Robin Lehner responded very well to his poor performance from Saturday night. He wasn’t tested much through 2 periods but he was sharp and made a couple of great saves.
Late in the 2nd, Alex Ovechkin fired the puck past Lehner to tie the game at 1. Probably not a great idea to leave one of the greatest goal scorers of all time open in the slot…
The Sabres played well in the 2nd period. They continued to outshoot Washington, outshooting them 24-14 through 40 minutes. I really liked Falk tonight. He blocked a few shots tonight and I believe that he could’ve been useful earlier in the season if he wasn’t injured.
Benoit Pouliot gave Buffalo the 2-1 lead early in the 3rd. He went end to end and ripped the puck past Grubauer for an absolutely beautiful goal. That was Pouliot’s 5th of the season. He has 6 points in his last 7 games.
The Capitals really were pressing to tie the game late but the Sabres held on and Evander Kane even scored an empty-netter to ensure the win tonight.
That was Buffalo’s 2nd home win of the season and their first win against the Capitals in awhile. That was a nice win for the team and a bounce-back game for Robin Lehner. The defense looked better and Matt Tennyson wasn’t in the lineup. Coincidence? I think not…
The Sabres will be back in action on Friday night against the Florida Panthers.
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