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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Washington



(Wednesday, December 23rd)

Final Score: Washington 5, Buffalo 2

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin notched a goal and two assists to help the Washington Capitals take a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center.

Nicklas Backstrom had two goals while Mike Green added a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have won three of four. Michal Neuvirth made 32 saves in the win.

"He's got a good shot and it's sneaky quick," said Washington coach Bruce Boudreau about Backstrom. "We've been telling him to not be so generous with the puck, tonight he listened."

Tim Connolly and Paul Gaustad each had a goal for the Sabres, who had won six of eight coming into the game. Ryan Miller was touched for all five goals on 38 shots.

"There's nothing unfortunate about it, we just didn't go to work tonight," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "When you play like that you've got no chance of winning in this league. We just decided not to show up in the first period."

The Caps took a 1-0 lead just 1:18 into the game as Backstrom one-timed an Ovechkin feed from the inside left circle over the glove of Miller.

At the 6:47 mark of the first, Washington made it a 2-0 game as Green's slap shot from the right point hit off the stick of a Buffalo player and sailed past Miller.

The Sabres made it a one-goal game just 5:04 into the second as Gaustad's wrister from the right circle got past Neuvirth for his seventh goal of the season.

The Capitals, though, got the goal back at the 10:48 mark of the middle stanza. Tomas Fleischmann threw a wrister from the right point that Brendan Morrison deflected down low. Morrison then grabbed the rebound, drew the puck back and roofed the puck between his legs.

However, the Sabres answered just over two minutes later as Steve Montador threw a shot on net from the right point that was tipped in by Connolly.

In the third, penalties to Craig Rivet and Gaustad within a 1:09 span gave the Caps a two-man advantage.

Backstrom gave his team a two-goal lead as he accepted a cross-ice feed at the right side from Alexander Semin and snapped the puck in from a sharp angle at the 10:55 mark.

On the same power play, a loose puck squirted out to the left circle where Ovechkin slammed it off the left post for a 5-2 lead with 7:50 to play.

Game Notes

Washington hosts New Jersey on Saturday...Buffalo plays at home against Ottawa on Saturday...Washington has taken two of three from Buffalo this season. The home team has won all three games in the series.

12/24 01:23:07 ET

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