The Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals had played two games this year, both tight, low-scoring affairs that the Sabres won in a shootout. Last night's effort was the polar opposite of that, with Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green leading the Capitals to a back-and-forth 5-4 win in overtime.
The game started about as bad as it could have for the Sabres, as
Washington Alex Ovechkin scored two goals in the first five minutes to spot the Caps to a 2-0 lead right off the bat. The crowd grew restless and Jhonas Enroth seemed like he was going to get run out of the building...until things settled down, and the Sabres closed the gap to one by the end of the period thanks to a Christian Ehrhoff goal.
The second period saw four goals in total to bring the score to 4-3, and also saw Phil Varone score his first career NHL goal on a wrist shot that got past Washington goaltender Brayden Holtby. Cody Hodgson scored his second of the game in the third period to tie the game at four and send things to overtime.
We've read this story before with these two teams, but rather than forcing a shootout as they usually do, the Sabres instead gave up the overtime winner just a minute in thanks to a sweet pass from Ovechkin to Mike Green, who potted his second goal of the game to seal it for Washington.
Jhonas Enroth once again took the loss, and he just can't ever seem to find his groove or get the team to play with any kind of consistency in front of him. Earlier in the year it was a lack of goal support that doomed his efforts, now there's plenty of offense but the defense wasn't great tonight and Enroth himself wasn't at his best. Enroth's situation certainly makes the argument for trading Ryan Miller more interesting, if anything.
1. Can the Sabres avoid another slow start?
Nope. The Sabres found themselves in a 2-0 hole within the first five minutes of the game tonight. They managed to pull it to within one goal by the end of the period, but it was still another awful start.
2. Will the Sabres keep the Capitals power play down?
Also nope. Washington scored two power play goals, and getting that unit clicking again will be a big key to their success. They got it going tonight, scoring twice on three chances.
1. Mike Green - 2g, 1a
2. Alex Ovechkin - 2g, 2a
3. Cody Hodgson - 2g
Comment of the Game
We present without comment - Macaroni Varone:
This any better? (however you define "better" in this case)
2012 Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan: 2nd place
2013 Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan: 2nd place
2014 Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan: Finalist
Really all of Ogre's PhotoShops were excellent last night. Check the Game Thread if your eyes can handle any more of that.