Dylan Strome scored with just 3.6 seconds left in overtime as the Sabres fell to the Caps 4-3 tonight in Washington. The Sabres, who held the lead for most of the game, couldn’t hold on late in the third period as Tom Wilson tied the game with 1:15 left in the third period with the Washington net empty.
The Sabres opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first period on the 8th of the season from JJ Peterka. They extended their lead on a highlight reel 1st NHL goal by Zach Benson, who scored with a between-the-legs shot under the crossbar. The Caps clawed back to tie the game midway through the second period, but Dylan Cozens scored on the powerplay late in the second period to give the Sabres a one-goal lead. Buffalo successfully shut down most of Washington’s offense through the third period until Wilson tied it with just over a minute to play.
- All-in-all, this was a good road game for the Sabres. I thought they played well enough for the win, but they couldn’t quite hold on. It’s got to be a gut-wrenching loss for the team after how they played. At least they got a point out of it.
- For most of the third period, it looked like the Sabres were learning how to win these tight one-goal games. They were limiting the Caps’ offensive chances effectively. Unfortunately, they left Wilson open for a one-timer on the tying goal.
- I would have liked to see Levi come up with a save on that OT goal. I know it’s not easy, but Strome beat him cleanly on that shot, and Devon has got to know that Power was going to take away the pass opportunity there. It’s not a bad goal against, but it’s one of those occasions when you need your goalie to make a big stop.
- I think Zach Benson can start looking for a permanent place to stay after his performance in the last few games. I think he needs to bulk up a bit, but he’s shown that he can be effective in the NHL. I suspect he’ll be staying in Buffalo for the rest of the season, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he sits a few games against the heavier-hitting teams, especially after Jack Quinn returns to the lineup.
- I know there’s a lot of discussion out there about sending Devon Levi to Rochester. Honestly, the only reason you would do that is if you think both UPL and Comrie are better than Levi. I don’t think we’re there at this point.
- Despite collecting two assists in the opening period, Victor Olofsson only played 9:49 in the game. He’s clearly still #11 out of the 11 forwards the Sabres dressed tonight and that’s because of his defensive game. I know whenever he’s on the ice in the defensive zone, I hold my breath.
- The interesting thing about going with 11 forwards is that we get to see different combinations in the bottom six. It also reduces the pressure on the bottom three defensemen. I’m not hating it as much as most people who are commenting on Twitter and Facebook.
- With the loss tonight, the Sabres drop to 8-9-2, 6th in their division.
- As a reminder to panicking fans, last year on this date, the Sabres were 8-9-0 after beating up on the Habs. So, they’re two points ahead of where they were last year. Lots of time left in the season.
For the second straight game, the Sabres went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen.
Jeff Skinner– Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch
JJ Peterka – Casey Mittelstadt – Zach Benson
Jordan Greenway – Tyson Jost – Victor Olofsson
Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power – Ryan Johnson
Connor Clifton – Erik Johnson
Good first period
The Sabres opened the scoring on a goal by JJ Peterka at 10:09. They had been pressuring in the Capitals end for a good thirty seconds when Peterka grabbed the puck just inside the blueline and fired a wrist shot through traffic to beat Darcy Kuemper on the glove side. It was Peterka’s 8th of the season. Jost and Olofsson picked up the assists.
Devon Levi came up with a couple of big stops with about 5:00 left to keep the game 1-0.
Zach Benson scored a highlight reel first career NHL goal, pulling the puck back between his legs before roofing it past a fallen Kuemper. Wow… great goal! Olofsson picked up his 2nd assist of the period on that goal.
But the Caps cut the lead to 2-1 at 17:01 on a shot from the point by Alexander Alexeyev… also his first NHL goal. The shot from the point initially tipped off Olofsson’s sticks and then off Jost’s glove before beating a screened Levi.
Jordan Greenway fought Tom Wilson with about two minutes to go – and drew an extra roughing minor – after Wilson drilled Owen Power with an open ice hit at center ice.
Good period for the Sabres. Shots were 10-10.
The Caps tied the game at 7:50 on the first of the year by TJ Oshie. The Sabres couldn’t clear the zone, and while Levi made a nice initial stop on the McMichael shot, he couldn’t control the rebound and Oshie pounced on it.
The Sabres had a 5-on-3 man advantage, and while they were unable to score, Dylan Cozens did score once the first penalty was done. He one-timed a pass from Rasmus Dahlin in the circle for his 4th of the season at 16:18.
Pretty even period in the second. Shots were 12-12.
Couldn’t quite hold on in the third
The Sabres kind of went into a defensive-type game to start the third period, limiting the Caps to only one shot in the first eight minutes.
The Caps hit the post with just over 5:00 to play, almost tying the game.
The Caps pulled Kuemper with 1:30 to go and just 15 seconds later, Tom Wilson tied the game with a one-timer from the slot.
3-3 after three. Shots were 6-4 Washington.
Unlike most overtime periods, there were several possession changes and shot attempts.
With just 3.6 seconds to go, Dylan Strome broke into the Sabres zone on a 2-on-1 and beat Levi with a wrist shot over the glove.
Shots in OT were 3-2 Washington and 31-27 for them in the game.