|Overtime = Ovi Time. Again. Hey, he's really good.|
The Caps got off to a blazing start, as John Carlson buried a goal off a rebound just 37 seconds in. The Caps continued to control play in the early going and made their lead 2-0 soon after when Alexander Semin scored a beauty of a goal at 4:41 that went past Buffalo goalie Jhonas Enroth. The good start for the Caps would be short-lived, however, as Buffalo scored at 6:30 to cut the lead in half. Thomas Vanek then scored three minutes later on a brutal goal against for Michal Neuvirth, who let the puck skip by him. The rest of the period showed some great chances by both teams, but neither was able to score again and the period ended in a tie.
The second period was characterized by some great back and forth action. Both goalies looked a bit shaky and the defenses were not playing very well, but somehow the score was able to stay tied. The Sabres really began to dominate as the middle stanza came to a close, but Michal Neuvirth upped his game late and was able to hold off the desperate Sabres, who are fighting for a playoff spot. The Capitals got a little in at the end, but the frame was controlled by the Sabres, and the game moved to the third still tied.
In the third period, things got a little crazy. Over the first 12 minutes of the period, there was almost no offensive pressure at all, with both teams playing it safe and not generating any solid scoring opportunities. With about 7 minutes left, however, Paul Gaustad stole the puck from the Washington D and skated in alone on a semi-breakaway, pocketing the puck past Neuvirth for a 3-2 lead at 12:35. But the Capitals were able to get a power play soon after and Mike Knuble tipped a point shot of Brooks Laich's past Enroth to equalize at 14:18. Buffalo was able to get the lead back soon after, however, as they got a power play and John Carlson then kicked a loose puck past Neuvirth at the 16:38 mark. With their goalie pulled in the final minute, the Capitals got a six-on-four power play and Jason Arnott buried another rebound at 19:08 to equalize and score another huge goal.
In OT, the Buffalo got off to a roaring start, but were held off by Michal Neuvirth. After that start, however, Alex Ovechkin put a ridiculous move on a Sabres defender on and fired the puck past Enroth at the 3:19 mark to win. Ole!
Sorry, no observations tonight. I was out to dinner and wasn't able to watch the whole game, so I can't pass judgement on anything other than the second Michal Neuvirth goal, because my twitter feed literally exploded with expletives against him. #TeamVarly?
The Caps are off tomorrow and will practice Monday at 10:30 AM at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. They return to game action Tuesday night in Toronto.