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Sabres at Capitals recap: Sabres collapse late, lose 3-2 in OT

Despite a solid first two periods, the Sabres couldn’t hold on tonight in Washington.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Good road games are often defined by their grind-it-out, game-controlling play by the visitors. They aren’t the prettiest wins, but the team in whites does enough to get the job done.

Tonight, the Sabres played a solid road game for about 45 minutes...and then collapsed in the final ten to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory in overtime.

Buffalo would get off to a fast start thanks to Zemgus Girgensons, who looked like the Girgensons of old scoring his second goal of the season just five minutes in to the game. Girgs would take a Derek Grant pass with speed through the neutral zone and smoke a shot past Braden Holtby to open the night’s scoring.

The Caps would respond in the second period thanks to Jay Beagle, who put his fifth of the season past Robin Lehner. The Sabres would quickly respond with a Johan Larsson goal...that was later ruled offsides on a challenge. But fear not! For Kyle Okposo would score his team-leading eighth goal of the year just moments later to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead.

Buffalo got a gigantic scare in the second when Jack Eichel got pinched in the boards and appeared to re-injure his left ankle. Eichel was seen on the bench writhing in pain, which sent Sabres fans (us included) into a Twitter tailspin. However, Eichel would return to the ice on his next shift, and also played in the third period.

The Sabres took their 2-1 lead late into the third, but they played scared in the final ten minutes, including some terrible power play looks, and the Caps would end up tying the game with just over six minutes left thanks to Marcus Johansson.

And would’t you know it, Johansson would score the game winner in overtime, his 11th of the season, as the Sabres earned a disappointing point tonight on the road.

Three Questions

1. Can the Sabres contain Washington’s top line?

Johansson’s goals were his 10th and 11th of the year, but the Sabres kept Ovechkin and Backstrom in check for much of the night.

2. How will Buffalo’s patchwork defense hold up?

The Sabres D played fairly well tonight. Guhle had another strong outing in his second career NHL game, while Ristolainen and McCabe both played around 29 minutes in a massive effort. One worries about them tomorrow night in a back-to-back. Falk and Burgdoerfer got caught pretty badly out of position on one of the Washington goals, but aside from that the blue line had a decent game.

3. Which Sabres player will keep his point streak alive?

Rasmus Ristolainen earned his 13th assist of the season, extending his points streak to four games. Edit: Ristolainen has four points in his last four games, not a four game point streak. Risto’s 13th assist ranks sixth among all defensemen this season.

Comment of the Game

Can someone explain to me what a crosscheck is?

Cuz apparently I’ve got no idea.

Posted by Mattd017

The Caps put on a clinic tonight on “how to get away with cross-checking.”