The Buffalo Sabres dropped to 4-7-2 on the 2020-21 season after losing 3-1 to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Washington took a 1-0 lead late in the opening period of play on the power play. With defenseman Will Borgen in the penalty box, Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin uncorked a one-timer that was stopped by goalie Linus Ullmark. On the rebound chance, Ovechkin got the puck got behind the Buffalo netminder, and veteran forward Nicklas Backstrom was there to bang it home.
The Capitals extended their lead to 2-0 just 6:38 into the middle stanza when they cashed in on a horrid turnover at the Washington blue line on the power play. Tom Wilson did the damage, as he stole the puck, streaked down the ice and netted Washington's first shorthanded goal of the season against Ullmark and the Sabres.
The Capitals' lead reached three in the final period of regulation when no one picked up former Sabres forward Conor Sheary in front of the net. Sheary was able to dunk a rebound in behind Ullmark for his fourth goal of the season.
Later in the third on the power play, Buffalo snapped the shutout bid for Vitek Vanecek off a shot wired top-shelf by Victor Olofsson. It was Olofsson's sixth goal of the season, and his second since the Sabres returned from their two-week COVID-19 hiatus on Monday.
That would cap the scoring on Thursday, as Washington entered shut down mode and were able to suppress any hope of a Buffalo comeback, even with their net empty in the late goings.
WSH: 17:23 - Nicklas Backstrom (8) PPG (TJ Oshie, Alex Ovechkin)
WSH: 6:38 - Tom Wilson (6) SHG (Unassisted)
BUF: 11:27 - Victor Olofsson (6) PPG (Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo)
WSH: 7:28 - Conor Sheary (4) (Lars Eller, Justin Schultz)
BUF: 16:19 - Will Borgen (Slashing - 2 min.)
WSH: 5:46 - TJ Oshie (High-sticking - 2 min.)
WSH: 9:36 - Dmitry Orlov (Tripping - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Tom Wilson - WSH
2.) Nicklas Backstrom - WSH
3.) Vitek Vanecek - WSH
It's a matinee game for the blue and gold on Saturday afternoon when they head to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey to visit the Devils. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m. EST with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show starting at 11:30 a.m. EST with Brian Koziol on the radio home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.