Alexander Ovechkin entered tonight’s game well behind his usual season pace, but he made a big splash with 2 assists and the overtime game-winning goal. The Buffalo Sabres are a potential first-round playoff opponent, and they showed the resiliency expected of a playoff-caliber team. The Caps, who scored 2 early goals, allowed the Sabres back in the game and allowed them to take the lead twice.
The Caps got big performances from big players. Besides Ovie’s 3 points, Nicklas Backstrom had 3 assists, John Carlson had 2 assists, Alex Semin had a goal and assist, and Mike Knuble had 2 goals.
Two major milestones were achieved in tonight’s game: Jason Arnott scored his 400th career goal and Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek scored career goal #200. Ovie’s goal was his 10th career OT goal and was his 299th career goal.
The Good: The Capitals’ powerplay finally woke up even without Dennis Wideman and Mike Green, going 2 for 2. Goals by the ageless Mike Knuble and Jason Arnott tied the game after the Caps allowed the Sabres to gain leads of 3-2 and 4-3.
The Bad: The Capitals’ defensive coverage left something to be deisred, especially in the absence of so many veteran defensemen. Even worse news was that Tyler Sloan left the game early, meaning the Caps could be down another defenseman heading into the playoffs.
The Ugly: All of the Capitals’ goals, which is a very encouraging sign heading into the playoffs. The first two goals were tap-ins off of rebounds. Knuble’s second goal was a deflection, Arnott’s goal was a rebound, and Ovie’s goal deflected in off a defenseman. If the Capitals can keep crashing the net and getting ugly goals, there will be no stopping them.