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Game Recap

Sabres lose top spot against the Capitals

Buffalo struggles to defend against a high-powered Washington offense

 

The Buffalo Sabres had trouble shaking off the rust from the long break as they saw the Washington Capitals ease by in this 6-1 loss at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Chances were abundant, but Buffalo only found the back of net once tonight in a lackluster effort. A silver lining, if there is one, is Henri Jokiharju scored his first of the season off the back of a Capitals defender. The rest of the game was owned by the Capitals as they stretched the ice and took advantage of odd man rushes and lengthy zone time.

The Capitals ended the night netting six goals in total, only one of which coming from the top line as T.J. Oshie tipped one in late in the game. The remainder of the scoring came from the likes of Jakub Vrana, Chandler Stephenson, Brendan Leipsic, and Tom Wilson. Vrana found the net early off of a breakaway and again on an odd man rush just three minutes later. Stephenson found his off the odd man rush as well and then the rest of the game was about puck possession and zone time. Leipsic was left alone in front after Buffalo failed to clear the puck and Wilson tipped his in after extended zone time.

At the other end, Braden Holtby repelled Buffalo’s attempts to get back into the game, stopping 29 of 30 shots and having a few go off the post as well. His .967 save percentage was well earned and his play kept Buffalo from gaining any momentum. Linus Ullmark did not fare so well for Buffalo. He stopped 28 of 34 shots for a .824 save percentage, but the effort was very much there. Ullmark made some big stops in a game where he was left alone by his defense often. Despite the numbers looking bleak, I would not let a game like this discourage otherwise strong goaltending.

Buffalo is back on home ice in KeyBank Center against the New York Islanders tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. They will try to bring some energy and get back in the win column in front of the home crowd.

 

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