NHL Game Summary - Washington at Buffalo
(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: Buffalo 5, Washington 0
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller stopped all 29 shots he faced in recording his eighth career shutout and Thomas Vanek scored twice as the Buffalo Sabres breezed past the Washington Capitals, 5-0, at HSBC Arena.
"It's always fun. It's always good to do," Miller said about the shutout." Sometimes it doesn't mean as much for the boys as it does in a 1-0 game. They worked as hard as they could defensively and they feel proud of it."
Jason Pominville chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who snapped a three-game losing skid. Derek Roy and Daniel Paille also tallied for Buffalo.
Jose Theodore made 22 saves for Washington, which had a brief two-game winning streak halted. The Capitals have dropped four of their last six.
Washington was playing without star forward Alex Ovechkin, who missed his second straight game after returning to Russia to visit his ailing grandfather.
"I don�t know why this is happening, but you can definitely tell that there were some guys not ready to play tonight, and it�s unacceptable," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said about the team's effort. "We have some great players, but Mike Green wasn�t ready to play, and Sasha (Alexander Semin) didn�t come to play and you can go on with some of our skilled players not ready to commit to playing a complete game."
Vanek got the Sabres off to a quick start, tallying 1:12 into the opening period. The left winger skated down the left wing boards and into the Caps' defensive zone, made a shift move with a defender on him and tucked the puck past Theodore to give the hosts the early lead.
Buffalo added a power-play goal at 13:13 of the first. Tim Connolly's blast from the point went wide, but Pominville gathered the disc from behind the net, got it to Roy standing well below the right circle and beat Theodore from an extreme angle to make it a 2-0 game.
Pominville's even-strength marker off a Caps turnover with 24 seconds remaining in the stanza gave the Sabres a comfortable three-goal lead after one.
Washington came out for the second with more energy and clearly outplayed the Sabres, outshooting Buffalo by a 14-4 margin in the period, but was unable to solve Miller and got an unlucky break at the end of the second.
Vanek picked up a loose puck at center after some sloppy play by the Caps and worked his way to the middle of the ice. After his initial shot was blocked by a Washington defender, Vanek's backhand flip got by Theodore with 2.9 seconds left.
Paille's goal off a nice pass by Patrick Kaleta on a 2-on-1 upped the Sabres lead to 5-0 with 8:01 remaining in the third.
Washington will play at Ottawa on Tuesday night, while Buffalo visits New Jersey on Monday...The Sabres have won 10 of 12 and 14 of their last 17 versus the Caps...Buffalo finished 1-2 on a three-game homestand and improved to 4-2-0 as the host this season...Sabres left wing Clarke MacArthur had an assist in the win and now has points in four straight games.
11/01 23:37:45 ET