Coming into Monday’s game, the Sabres have scored four goals in a game just twice during the month of December. Tonight, they scored four times in the opening period.
The Sabres have had problems scoring goals this season, but in tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Capitals, Buffalo cashed in early and often.
It took just 51 seconds for the Sabres to get on the board in this one. Thanks to a Roman Hamrlik delay of game penalty just nine seconds into the game, Buffalo went on the powerplay, where Jason Pominville ripped home his 12th goal of the season.
A few minutes later, Matt Ellis recorded his second goal of the season as he followed up on the play and beat Michal Neuvirth with a backhand.
Neuvirth didn’t last long in net for Washington. He stopped just three of six shots and was pulled after Christian Ehrhoff 11:15 into the opening period. Ehrhoff’s goal turned out to be the game-winner.
The there was a milestone moment for one of the Sabres. Brayden McNabb scored his first NHL goal in the first period on the power play.
10 different players recorded a point in the first period for the Sabres.
This was the type of game the Sabres need to stop the three game skid. Buffalo were not only scoring goals, but winning the one-on-one battles around the boards and in the corners.
The Capitals scored twice, but that was all as the Sabres first period was enough to earn the victory. Matt Hendricks tallied his first goal of the season in the final minute of the second period.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 12th of the season halfway through the third, but there was nothing more from Washington.
Ryan Miller made 20 of 22 saves on the night and earned the win. At the other end, Tomas Vokoun made 16 of 17 after coming in to stop the bleeding in the first period.
With the win, the Sabres jump past Washington and Winnipeg in the standings and into 9th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres will head to New Jersey to play the Devils on Wednesday.