Game Recap – 12/21/2018 – Buffalo Sabres v. Washington Capitals

Buffalo Sabres (20-10-5 45pts) v. Washington Capitals (20-10-3 43pts)

 

Game Recap:

The Washington Capitals defeat the Buffalo Sabres in a tightly contested game that saw Braden Holtby make 36 saves on 37 shots, and Tom Wilson clinch the game with the game winning goal 7 minutes left in regulation.

 

Lineups:

Buffalo Sabres:

Jeff Skinner — Jack Eichel — Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary – Vladimir Sobotka — Evan Rodrigues

Zemgus Girgensons — Casey Mittelstadt — Kyle Okposo

Remi Elie — Johan Larsson — Tage Thompson

Rasmus Dahlin — Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut — Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella — Jake McCabe

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Brendan Guhle, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Jason Pominville (undisclosed), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body), Casey Nelson (upper body), Scott Wilson (ankle)

 

Washington Capitals:

Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly

Chandler Stephenson — Nic Dowd – Devante Smith-Pelly

Michal Kempny — John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen

Jonas Siegenthaler — Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

Pheonix Copley

Scratched: Dmitrij Jaskin, Travis Boyd, Tyler Lewington

Injured: Christian Djoos (leg), Brooks Orpik (knee)

 

First Period:

Sabres Penalty – 4:32 – Jeff Skinner 2 minutes for Hooking

Capitals Penalty – 8:28 – Tom Wilson 2 minutes for Hooking

 

End of 1st – BUF – 0       WAS – 0

Shots              09                08

Faceoffs         07                09

Hits               03                  10

PP                 0/1                 0/1

 

Analysis:

This was a very fast paced and very even first period for both teams. Both the Capitals and Sabres are doing a very good job of taking care of the neutral zone and keep the the slot area clear for their goalies.

 

Need to Do:

The Capitals need to keep their feet moving and continue playing really good team defense against the Sabres. The Capitals also need to do a better job in reducing the amount of giveaways. They had 7 to Buffalo’s 4 in the first period.

 

Second Period:

Capitals Penalty – 2:37 – Jonas Siegenthaler 2 minutes for Tripping

Capitals SHG – 2:50 – Chandler Stephenson (3) from Nic Dowd (9)

Sabres Penalty – 7:12 – Evan Rodrigues 2 minutes for Holding

Sabres Penalty – 9:38 – Casey Mittelstadt 2 minutes for Holding

 

End of 2nd – BUF – 0        WAS – 1

Shots               19                 16

Faceoffs          14                 19

Hits                 03                  19

PP                   0/2                  0/3

 

Analysis:

This was another very good back and forth period between both teams. The Capitals were better than the Sabres on special teams as they held Buffalo shotless on their lone powerplay of the period, and the Capitals scored while shorthanded. The Capitals powerplay was buzzing on both opportunities and with some controversy to the first one.

 

Need to Do:

The Capitals need to continue playing strong team defense and limit the scoring chances for the Sabres. Also the Capitals need to cut down on their giveaways. They almost shot themselves in the foot a few times this game with their giveaways.

 

Third Period:

Sabres Goal – 9:01 – Johan Larsson (3) from Tage Thompson (3) and Rasmus Ristolainen (19)

Capitals Penalty – 9:24 – Matt Niskanen 2 minutes for Tripping

Capitals Goal – 13:00 – Tom Wilson (10) from Evgeny Kuznetsov (25)

Sabres Penalty – 14:23 – Vladimir Sobotka 2 minutes for Hooking

Capitals Penalty – 17:48 – Nic Dowd 2 minutes for Tripping

 

End of 3rd – BUF – 1         WAS – 2

Shots              37                   24

Faceoffs        23                    28

Hits               06                     19

PP                 0/4                    0/4

 

Analysis:

A good solid period. Both teams scored hard earned goals, but it would be the Capitals penalty kill that would upset the Sabres and not allow them to get any quality chances on the powerplay.

 

Next Up:

Washington (21-10-3 45pts) @ Ottawa (15-16-4 34pts)

Buffalo (20-11-5 45pts) v. Anaheim (19-13-5 43pts)

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