The Buffalo Sabres dropped their second game in six days to the Washington Capitals with a 2-1 loss on Friday night.
Tom Wilson scored the game-winner with seven minutes left and Braden Holtby had an outstanding game, stopping 36 of 37 shots as the Capitals held off Buffalo for the victory. The loss marks seven straight defeats at Capital One Arena for the Sabres.
Buffalo had an excellent opportunity to tie the game late in the third when Nic Dowd was called for tripping Casey Mittelstadt. Halfway through the penalty, the Sabres pulled Carter Hutton to have atwo-man advantage, but Holtby and the Capitals held on to take the two points.
The first two periods were very evenly played with the only goal scored being a short handed marker by Washington’s Chandler Stephenson. With Jonas Siegenthaler in the penalty box for tripping, Dowd sent a high clearing pass to Stephenson, who skated in and beat Hutton over his left shoulder.
Buffalo came out strong in the third period with outstanding pressure in the opponent’s zone. They were finally rewarded when Tage Thompson’s shot trickled through two Capitals defensemen to Johan Larsson, who was parked to the right of Holtby. Larsson backhanded the puck to the top right corner of the net to tie the game at one.
The lead didn’t last. Hutton mishandled the puck behind his net as the third period was winding down. Evgeny Kuznetsov grabbed the loose puck and fed Tom Wilson, who slapped it into the empty-net for the game winner.
All four lines were rolling the entire game for the Sabres. Conor Sheary had one of his best all around games this season as he generated some strong offensive pressure and came back strong in the defensive zone. Hutton also had another impressive game except for the one bobble as he stopped 22 of 24 shots.
The Sabres have little time to dwell on their loss as they hit the ice Saturday evening against the Anaheim Ducks. The game is at KeyBank Center and scheduled for a 7 p.m. puck drop.