Washington 4 – Buffalo 3 (SO)
Saturday, March 30, 2013
First Niagara Center
As quickly as things start to go well for the Buffalo Sabres, they can also go south just as fast. The Sabres coughed up a 3-1 third-period lead on Saturday, eventually losing a 4-3 shootout decision to the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center. Matt Hendricks and Alex Ovechkin both scored for Washington in the shootout that lasted only two rounds.
The Sabres entered the third period with a two-goal advantage, thanks in large part to Ville Leino’s first two goals of the season. Christian Ehrhoff had staked Buffalo to an early 1-0 lead just 3:01 into the game. But with John Carlson in the box for a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass, Washington netminder Braden Holtby fired the puck around the boards after scooping up the Tyler Ennis dump in. Troy Brouwer grabbed the puck outside the Capitals’ blueline, headed to the Buffalo net untouched, and beat Jhonas Enroth short side for the shorthanded goal. It was Buffalo’s league-leading sixth shorthanded goal allowed this season.
Washington would eventually tie the score with just 40 seconds left in the game, as Mike Green’s point shot rang off the post behind Enroth, but the rebound would hit his back and bounce into the net.
The Sabres fall to 13-16-6 (32 pts.) with the shootout loss, with a mere 13 games remaining on the schedule. Seven of Buffalo’s last 15 games have been decided in a shootout, and they evened their season record at 4-4 with the loss tonight.
Jhonas Enroth was the hard-luck loser in goal for Buffalo, stopping 34 shots in the loss. His diving stop on Mike Ribeiro in overtime was his best save of the net. Enroth is now 2-2-1 on the year, and is 2-0-1 in his past three starts.
Buffalo is right back at it on Sunday when they host the Boston Bruins. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Ville Leino scored his first goal since April 5, 2012; and recorded his first two-goal game since Mar. 3, 2012 at Vancouver… Marcus Foligno extended his point streak to three games (1+2) with an assist on Leino’s second goal… Christian Ehrhoff played in his 600th NHL game tonight… Buffalo has now collected points in five straight home games (3-0-2). This is their longest streak since going 7-0-1 in eight home games from Feb. 19-Mar. 24, 2012… The Sabres have now had 14 of their last 16 games decided by one goal. Buffalo is 6-3-5 in those 14 games, and they are 9-8-6 in their 23 one-goal games this season… 143rd game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo leads the series with an 83-43-17 record
Tonight’s game opened up Buffalo’s seventh of nine sets of back-to-back games this season. With tonight’s shootout loss, the Sabres are now 3-2-2 in the first game, and head into Sunday’s game with a record of 1-4-1 in the second. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is as follows: four points (1), three points (1), two points (1), one point (1) and zero points (2).
LEOPOLD DEALT TO ST. LOUIS
Prior to the game, Buffalo traded defenseman Jordan Leopold to St. Louis in exchange for a pair of 2013 draft picks – the Blues’ second-round draft pick and a conditional fifth-round selection. If the Blues win at least one playoff round this year, the fifth-round pick will become a fourth rounder. Leopold recorded 67 points (25+42) in 174 games with the Sabres after signing as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010. In 610 career NHL games with Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, the 32-year-old Leopold has amassed 65 goals and 137 assists.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Tyler Myers, 28:13
Shots: Drew Stafford, 3
Blocked Shots: Sekera/Weber, 3
Hits: Steve Ott, 6
Faceoff Wins: Steve Ott, 9
Total Faceoffs: Steve Ott, 19 (9-10)
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN...
Scoring First: 9-4-4
Leading after the first period: 4-2-2
Leading after the second period: 5-0-4
Outshot by an opponent: 10-11-2
Overall: 17/126, 13.5%
Home: 9/59, 15.3%
Overall: 107/139, 77.0%
Home: 37/50, 74.0%
* Sunday vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
* Tuesday @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
* Friday vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.