Buffalo dominates fast-paced game with big win against Washington
Goaltender Tokarski earns first victory in over five years
Score: Sabres 5 | Capitals 2
Shots: BUF 30 | WSH 29
Sabres Goals: Sam Reinhart (15), Victor Olofsson (12), Casey Mittelstadt (7), Anders Bjork (3), Tage Thompson (5)
Capitals Goals: Dmitry Orlov (6), Anthony Mantha (1)
Minus - 1 | Okposo Out
After suffering a puck shot to the face by teammate Matt Irwin, Kyle Okposo left the game with a towel on his face to stop some heavy bleeding. The shot appeared to slice him in the left cheek area, but not much was reported since his departure. He did not return to the ice.
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Dylan Cozens (future captain?) opened up scoring with a shot from the point, which would be credited to Sam Reinhart with his deflection late in the first period. Though the Caps answered back rather quickly to tie up the game, it was a great first period.
The second period was also action-packed. Early on, the Capitals had an ugly turnover in their zone, but Victor Olofsson slid right in to take advantage of it, handing the Sabres their second lead of the game. For all of the haters out there, it was another even-strength goal for the Swede, who has gotten a lot of criticism for only producing on the power play (not exactly true anymore, is it?).
Casey Mittelstadt, who has really begun to shine, managed a well-placed shorthanded goal against the elite Washington team tonight. He has six goals and two assists in his last nine games.
Anders Bjork tallied his first goal in a Buffalo jersey, making it his third point in two games (he assisted Mitts on the shorthanded goal) and giving Sabres fans a little hope after the Lazar/Hall trade with Boston.
As chaotic and stressful as it can be to watch Dustin Tokarski in the net, he held his own tonight against the likes of Ovie and Nicklas Backstrom - the latter of which celebrated his 1,000th game. It was Tokarski’s first win since 2015. To be more transparent, it was his first win in five years and 124 days.
Overall, it was a great team effort completely dominated by Buffalo after really struggling this season not only against Washington, but against most other opponents. Since Ralph Krueger’s departure, nearly every player has improved and gained confidence on the ice. It has been great these last handful of games to see Buffalo skating, passing, and communicating like a team. Is this the future? Let’s hope so because it sure is fun to watch.