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Game Recap

Reinhart’s hat trick caps win

Buffalo shuts the door on defending champions

After an encouraging effort in a shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Sabres came right back with a more impressive game on Saturday. 

Sam Reinhart recorded his third career hat trick in Buffalo’s 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center. 

Sabres fans had a big scare during the second period when Carl Hagelin tripped Jeff Skinner, causing Buffalo’s leading goal-scorer to take an awkward fall. 

Skinner hobbled to the locker room, but was back out to start the third period and skated as nothing had happened. He even had a great chance in the first 15 seconds of the period. 

The Washington Capitals have been struggling with some consistent play, similar to Buffalo, and the Sabres were able to take advantage of that.

Rasmus Dahlin scored his eighth goal of the season off a great pass from Jack Eichel. That goal proved to be the eventual game-winner, setting a new NHL record.

The Sabres controlled the tempo for 60 minutes and every time it looked as if Washington was back in it, Buffalo responded. 

Alex Ovechkin scored Washington’s first goal but was otherwise held quiet. The NHL’s leading scorer tried to get his team back into the game with big hits, but Rasmus Ristolainen knocked him down.

Carter Hutton played a big role in this game, too. His 16th win of the season came with some huge saves and he finished the day with 31 stops on 33 shots. 

At the other end, Braden Holtby allowed four goals on 37 shots. It’s been a bit of a down season for Holtby, but the Capitals are hoping he gears up for the playoffs. 

Reinhart’s long shot from his own end made its’ way to the gaping net to seal the victory. Hutton recorded his first assist on the season and fourth of his career. 

The Sabres look to build off a couple of great efforts and take that into Monday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scotiabank Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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NHL Standings

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Atlantic Division Leaders:
7044-14-12100
7043-21-692
7036-25-981
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
6941-20-890
6941-21-789
6940-23-686
Wild Card leaders:
6838-25-581
7033-22-1581
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6835-23-1080
7037-28-579
6935-26-878
7131-31-971
6930-31-868
6928-29-1268
7125-34-1262
7117-49-539
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Central Division Leaders:
7142-19-1094
7042-20-892
6937-24-882
Pacific Division Leaders:
7139-24-886
7137-25-983
7036-27-779
Wild Card leaders:
7137-28-680
6935-26-878
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6936-27-678
6935-27-777
7033-29-874
7032-30-872
7129-33-967
7029-35-664
7029-36-563