The Sabres season has taken an unexpected turn over the last four days, dropping three straight games, including Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Washington at the Verizon Center.
The Capitals had not won a game this season prior to Sunday, but found a way to beat Buffalo.
Alex Ovechkin ripped home a power play goal in the third period to put Washington up 3-1, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Marcus Foligno put home a rebound to bring Buffalo within one in the third period, but there was no game-tying goal, putting the Sabres losing streak at three games.
Ryan Miller made 27 of 30 saves on the day, but recorded his second loss of the season after winning the first two. Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves on 24 shots, securing his, and the team’s first win of the season.
Tyler Ennis had Buffalo on the board in the first period with a backhanded shot, but Joel Ward tied the game up minutes laters. John Erskine had the other Washington goal.
The Sabres lost 20 of 55 faceoffs, which may be a large contributing factor in the recent losses. Buffalo were also without Thomas Vanek, who is expected to return Tuesday. The top line that had been so hot wasn’t able to get anything going today without Vanek.
Mikhail Grigorenko arguably played his best game of the season, but failed to record a point. He has now played five games this season and it’s time for the Sabres to decide whether to keep him up for the rest of the season or to send him to Juniors.
The Sabres have the option of scratching him and delaying the decision, but if he dresses, he will be up for the season. Otherwise, it would burn a year of his entry-level contract.
The Sabres will play three divisional games next week, starting with Toronto on Tuesday at the First Niagara Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.