Final at HSBC ArenaWashington 3Buffalo 6Sabres jump out to early six-goal lead in win vs. Caps
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Chris Drury had two goals and two assists, sparking Buffalo's six-goal first period in the Sabres' 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.
Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists while Maxim Afinogenov and Thomas Vanek added a goal and assist each for the NHL's top-scoring team. Brian Campbell also scored in a game that was decided before it was 11 minutes old.
Buffalo needed only nine shots to build a 6-0 lead when Vanek, from the right circle, banked a wrister in off Capitals defender Brian Pothier in front with 9:03 left in the first period.
Buffalo scored four times in a 5:39 span, including two goals 15 seconds apart, and six in a span of 9:06. Remarkably, the six-goal first period wasn't even a season best for the Sabres, who scored seven times in a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on Nov. 20.
The Sabres (26-7-3) improved to 2-2-1 in their past five games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Alex Ovechkin, booed loudly after he cut the Sabres' lead to 6-2 late in the second period, Chris Clark and Kris Beech scored for the Capitals (16-13-7), who had a four-game road winning streak snapped while opening a stretch of four games in five nights.
The Sabres got some payback against Ovechkin for his blind-side hit on Daniel Briere that sent Buffalo's co-captain headfirst into the boards during Washington's 7-4 win earlier this month.
Ovechkin was ejected from the game. Briere was not severely injured, but the Sabres were unhappy that the NHL did not suspend Ovechkin for a potentially dangerous play.The sold-out crowd jeered Ovechkin beginning with his first shift, and booed even louder when he celebrated his goal by holding his hand to his ear.
Olie Kolzig prevented a blowout, allowing two goals on 33 shots, in replacing Capitals starter Brent Johnson, who was chased after allowing four goals on six shots.
Johnson shattered his stick across the crossbar and heaved what was left of his shaft down the ice as he left the game. He then threw his mask down the hallway leading to the team's dressing room, and spent the rest of the game standing at the team's bench with his hands on his hips.