Buffalo 8, Washington 5
After welcoming the Capitals who were 1-7 on the road, Buffalo and Washington played a wild one at HSBC Arena.
It took 37 seconds for someone to record the first goal. That someone was Brian Campbell, who had two goals on the night. It was no contest in the first period, with Buffalo jumping out to a 4-1 lead.
Taylor Pyatt had two goals in the first period. After another two Buffalo goals to start the second period, it looked as if this game was all over with a five goal lead. With the game beginning to get out of hand, the frustrated Capitals started a few fights, including this one between Matt Bradley and Adam Mair:
Buffalo had a seven-minute power play in the second period when Washington’s Brendan Witt was handed 27 minutes in penalties – including a game misconduct – after a brief melee that involved Thomas Vanek. The Sabres were unable to capitalize on the extended opportunity.
Within eight minutes, the Capitals scored three times on Martin Biron, including a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin.
The Capitals were back in the game, but not for long. Pyatt completed his hat trick early in the third period. Both teams added another goal, and Buffalo went on to win 8-5. Despite the teams scoring a combined 13 goals, neither decided to switch goaltenders. Biron stopped 34 of 39 in the win. For Washington, Brent Johnson stopped 19 of 27.
Johnson, who came in 5-0 with a 1.38 goals-against average against the Sabres, made 19 saves in his third consecutive start in place of the injured Olaf Kolzig. Kolzig missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury.