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Capitals Clip Sabres 3-2 in Shootout

Buffalo’s valiant effort not enough in 7th straight loss

Washington Capitals v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Score: BUF 2 | WASH 3

Shots: Sabres 31 | Capitals 42

Buffalo Sabres Goals: V. Hinostroza (5), W. Butcher (1)

Washington Capitals Goals: L. Eller (4), M. Fehervary

Plus +1: Folks, Buffalo has a Goalie.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was outstanding...again. The 22 year-old Sabres netminder made a career high 40 saves on 42 shots to keep Buffalo in the game. The 6’5” UPL was square to the puck all night giving the Caps shooters virtually nothing to aim for. When challenged laterally, UPL was lightning quick, making some incredible pad saves, especially late in the contest. In 3 games this season, UPL is sporting an impressive 1.98 GAA and a .938% save percentage.

Washington Capitals v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Plus +2: Sabres Don’t Back Down

For the second game in a row, the Sabres refused to play timid or conservative hockey against a bigger and better club. Even though Buffalo fell behind early, they kept pressing, and eventually defenseman Robert Hagg sprung winger Vinnie Hinostroza on a breakaway with a gorgeous stretch pass. Vinnie shimmied and snapped the puck past Caps netminder Vitek Vanecek to tie the game at 1.

Minus -1: Only 1 Win in the Last 12 games

Not much to say here. The Sabres played a strong game tonight but still couldn’t come away with a win. The loss column is filling up way too quickly.

Best Game Thread Comment:

“Having to watch the Caps feed due to blackout. Their comment after Butcher goal: “Buffalo leads the league in blown-lead losses with 9.”

Muting.” - Larry Yazman

Final Thoughts & Notes:

  • The Sabres rang way too many posts tonight, with C Tage Thompson hitting the bar in OT and then again in the shootout. C Dylan Cozens was the next Buffalo shooter and guess what he did...
  • LW John Hayden played one of his best games tonight. The big winger drove hard to the net and won almost every board battle down low.
  • Head Coach Don Granato did his best to out maneuver the Caps in OT. Granato sent out hot handed center Cody Eakin (72.7% F.O. win percentage tonight) to take nearly every draw in overtime. After each faceoff, Eakin went straight to the bench to tag in snipers J. Skinner or V. Olofsson. It was astute, crafty, and it nearly paid off.
  • Defender C. Miller and forward M. Jankowski were scratched for tonight's game.
  • Next up: Buffalo will be heading north for a 3 game road trip that starts on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets (13-9-5).