That was the story tonight at the Verizon Center. The Capitals downed the Buffalo Sabres for their second consecutive win behind two Alexander Ovechkin tallies and one marker for Nicklas Backstrom.
Ovechkin got it going for the Capitals early tonight, scoring his first goal just 1:42 not the game, the fastest marker for the Caps this season. The Ovechkin goal was meant to be a pass, but deflected off the stick of defenseman Christian Erhoff on a moving Ryan Miller in net, to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. The Ovie tally was assisted by goalie Tomas Vokoun, his second helper of the season. The Caps out shot the Sabres 11-2 in the first period.
Nicklas Backstrom scored the second goal at the 3:42 mark of the second period on a nifty pass attack by Roman Hamrlik and Alexander Semin to a wide open Backstrom. It was Backstrom's 13th goal of the season. Jochen Hecht scored over the fifteen minute mark to pull the Sabres to within 1 goal and send the game into the second intermission at 2-1. The Sabres dominated the Caps in the second period, getting quality zone time and out shooting the Caps 15-6.
The Caps came out and played a better third period, clearing the puck more often and sharing zone time. Ovechkin put the Sabres away with a nasty, classic Ovechkin snap shot fed by a beautiful pass by Backstrom. It was Ovechkin's 14th of the season and Backstrom's second point of the night and 25th helper on the season. It iced the game for the Capitals and sealed their second consecutive win.
For the second straight game, Vokoun allowed just one goal, stopping 25 of 26 shots on net. Vokoun was sharp in goal making some real nifty saves and saving the Capitals from some dangerous turnovers.
Caps play again tomorrow, facing the NHL's worst team, Columbus Blue Jackets.
SPECIAL TEAMS: There were only a total of three penalties combined in this game. The Caps were 1 for 2 on the power play and a perfect 1 for 1 on the penalty kill. The Capitals have not gone eight consecutive games, 22 perfect attempts in killing penalties at the Verizon Center.
MULTI POINT SCORERS: Alex Ovechkin has 2 goals and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist.
DCPSR PLAYER OF THE GAME: Alexander Ovechkin
OF NOTE: The Capitals have recalled Cody Eakin. To make room for Eakin, the Caps placed Mike Green on the IR, retroactive to November 10, meaning he is available to return at any time. For Buffalo, Christian Erhoff left the game in the first period after a scuffle with Todd Brouwer. Head Coach Lindy Ruff said Erhoff would 'miss time, possibly weeks. Erhoff returned to the ice on December 11 from a concussion.