Washington 3 – Buffalo 2
Sunday, January 27, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – Leaving one of the game’s deadliest snipers all alone is never a good thing, and the Buffalo Sabres found that out the hard way. Alex Ovechkin one-timed a Mike Green pass behind Ryan Miller at 5:11 of the third period, and that held up as the eventual game winner as Washington edged Buffalo 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. The loss was Buffalo’s third in a row, while the Capitals got in the win column for the first time this season. With Sabres defenseman Alexander Sulzer in the box for clearing the puck over the glass, Ovechkin stationed himself to the right of Miller at the faceoff circle. Mike Green found Ovechkin with a pass from the far boards, and he made no mistake with an absolute laser into the twine for his first of the season. Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno also scored their first goals of the year for the Sabres, who were without leading scorer Thomas Vanek with a muscle strain suffered in Friday’s loss to Carolina.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Jason Pominville had has point streak snapped at four games, while Christian Ehrhoff saw both his point and assist streaks halted… The loss was Buffalo’s third straight against a Southeast Division opponent… Sabres are now 2-2-0 when scoring first; 0-3-0 when tied after the first; and 0-2-0 when trailing after two… Buffalo allowed a first period goal for just the first time this season… Have now outscored opponents 3-1 in the first… The Sabres have been outscored in both the second (7-4) and third periods (7-6)… This was the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Sabres lead series 83-42-16; and they are now 39-22-10 on the road… Sabres evened their record in Sunday games this season to 1-1; they have nine remaining Sunday contests.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 23:47
Shots: Drew Stafford/Tyler Ennis, 4
Blocked Shots: Jochen Hecht, 3
Faceoff Wins: Cody Hodgson, 8
Total Faceoffs: Cody Hodgson, 16 (8-8)
Hits: Marcus Foligno, 6
The Sabres were held scoreless in a pair of power play attempts, and only managed two shots in those situations. Their penalty killing was two-for-three, with Washington’s lone PP marker being Alex Ovechkin’s game-winner while Alexander Sulzer was in the box serving a delay of game penalty.
Mikhail Grigorenko saved his best game for the most important one. The Russian rookie played his fifth game of the season, and it’s now up to Sabres management whether he stays in the NHL or gets returned to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. Grigorenko had a season-high 17:10 of ice time, and made several plays befitting of his playmaker label. In the first period he made a spinning backpass that nearly found Jochen Hecht at the edge of the crease. Hecht was the recipient of another heads-up play by the rookie in the third, as Grigorenko avoided a defender by chipping the puck over his head to Hecht behind the net. His confident play was almost rewarded in the third with a goal, but he was unable to jam the puck home during a goalmouth scramble. Grigorenko finished the night with two shots on goal, and was four-of-11 on faceoffs. His 11 total faceoffs were second only to Cody Hodgson’s 16.
* Tuesday vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
* Thursday @ Boston, 7 p.m.
* Saturday @ Montreal, 2 p.m.