These Washington Capitals were coming off a 5-0 blowout on the road in Montreal, staying rested for three days before crossing the St. Lawrence River to take on the Buffalo Sabres. Braden Holtby starred in net, captain Alex Ovechkin scored and racked up an assist, and John Carlson chimed in for a goal of his own.
The fourth best power play in the league was surely on display tonight. Ovechkin came out guns blazing scoring two goals in the opening five minutes. One a snapshot at the top of the box during a powerplay and the other a glove-side deflection off a rip from Mike Green. Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff had the final goal of the first, with the Capitals heading into the second period carrying a 2-1 lead.
Cody Hodgson kept the Sabres around, lighting the lamp just 1:41 out of the gate. Green matched him 8 minutes later to reclaim a 3-2 lead but the Capitals didn’t sustain it for more than a minute, Phil Varone punched one in to tie it at three goals apiece. With three minutes remaining in the period Troy Brouwer scored his team’s second power play goal of the night, giving the Capitals a 4-3 lead to close out the second.
Hodgson was the first and only to score in the third period when he hit twine unassisted. The closing minutes that followed were a grind, neither team able to take full control as the game went into overtime knotted at four. It wasn’t long before Green knocked in his second of the night on a three-vs-two breakaway, culminating a stellar performance from the defenseman currently facing trade rumors on a daily basis.
On Thursday the Capitals will ride a two game win streak into Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. These two last faced off on January 17th in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets handed the Caps a 5-1 loss. Maybe this momentum is exactly what Ovechkin and Co. need to succeed in their attempt at vengeance.