BUFFALO, NY (AP) – TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored penalties for the Washington Capitals in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabers on Saturday night.
Martin Fehervary and Lars Eller scored on target, and Vitek Vanecek saved 29 shots for the Capitals, who recovered from a 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday to earn their 11th point in 12 games.
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Fehervary, who scored the winner in the third half, said: “Definitely coming back strong. “Head-to-head games are always tough, and we came out on top in the third period.”
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 40 saves for Sabers, who saw goals from Vinnie Hinostroza and Will Butcher. Buffalo won a regular five-game losing streak but extended a seven-game winless streak and a 3-14-3 defeat in the past 20 games.
Fehervary scored for the Capitals at 5:41 in the third half with an assist from Alex Ovechkin. It was the first goal in 13 games for the defenders, who were decided in game time after leaving the game on Friday night following a high strike from Pittsburgh’s Brock McGinn.
“It was hit hard,” Fehervary said. “But I did feel better today. So I’m happy.”
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said “it’s great to see him rewarded with such a big goal because he’s been playing so hard every night.”
Laviolette also praised the resilience of the Capitals players, who “need a little fix” before regrouping in the third period.
Oshie returned from being poked in the blood by Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo and had to have stitches under his eye late in the second half. Oshie’s 21st penalty shootout goal tied him with Chicago’s Patrick Kane for an all-time second, and his 46 penalty shootout goals ranked fourth in NHL history.
Vanecek didn’t need to make a save in the penalty shootout. Buffalo’s Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each hit the post, and Victor Olofsson scored.
Luukkonen made 16 saves in the third period, two from missed shots as the Capitals played strength. He made a spectacular save against Conor Sheary’s rebound later in the period.
Sheary, a former Saber, said: “Incredible savings.
This is the sixth straight loss for Luukkonen since he won his NHL debut in April. The fifth keeper to play for Buffalo this season, Luukkonen has saved 90 of the 96 shots he has faced in three games since being called up from the youth team.
Sabers coach Don Granato said: “The efforts have been outstanding. “Victory will follow.”
Eller gave the Capitals an early lead, finishing a 2-on-1 game from Sheary at 3:40 of the first game. Hinostroza’s lead tied for 6:12 remaining in the first half, and Buffalo took a 2-1 lead in the second as Rasmus Asplund set Butcher high in the first game of the season.
Oshie, who had an assist on Eller’s goal, was close to giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead in the first half, but officials abandoned the goal as Oshie slipped in front of Luukkonen before the ball went into the net.
Laviolette said he considered challenging whether Oshie was pushed to the edge.
“We looked at it a few times,” Laviolette said. “We just don’t feel comfortable taking the shot, conceding a goal, and then letting them continue to play power.”
UP THE REVIEW MORE CODE
The NHL announced they made a mistake when they disallowed Sabers’ goal in the last minute of the 1-2 loss to New York Rangers. In a statement released by the league on Saturday, senior executive VP Colin Campbell said Olofsson’s goal with 57 seconds remaining on Friday night should have stood because the video playback could not be “determined” clear” whether Saber is offside into the area.
NATURAL HERITAGE NIGHT
Buffalo celebrated its local indigenous culture by displaying a series of video and scoreboard graphics throughout the game, and featured live music and traditional dance performances during the break. Former Sabers Cody McCormick, Jason Dawe and coach Ted Nolan were present.
ROOM OF TRAINER
Capitals:D Nick Jensen briefly left the game in the second after crashing into the board. … F Tom Wilson (above) hasn’t been to Buffalo and his condition is getting worse. Mike Sgarbossa came on to replace Wilson, who was hurt on Friday.
Sabers: D Robert Hagg (undisclosed) returned from a three-game absence and assisted Hinostroza’s goal with an escape pass.
Capital: In Chicago on Wednesday night.
Sabers: Open three-game road trip in Winnipeg on Tuesday night.
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/12/12/oshie-kuznetsov-score-in-shootout-caps-beat-sabres-3-2/ Oshie, Kuznetsov score in penalty shootout, Caps beat Sabers 3-2 – CBS Baltimore