NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Washington
(Friday, December 14th)
Final Score: Buffalo 5, Washington 3
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Tim Connolly scored the game-winning goal with 3:42 left to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.
The Sabres had been putting a lot of pressure on Washington for several minutes, but finally got one past Olaf Kolzig as Connolly's backhander from the slot as he was falling to the ice found the back of the net.
The Capitals pulled Kolzig with under two minutes to play, but Jochen Hecht's empty-net goal sealed the victory for Buffalo.
Derek Roy had a goal and an assist while Ryan Miller finished with 20 saves for the Sabres, who have won three of their last four.
"It was one of those nights, where he's going to make some mistakes," said Roy, commenting about Kolzig. "As a goalie, it happens a lot. I happened to read the first one where he was trying to bat it out of the zone with one hand and I scored an empty net. But he made up for it and made some great saves."
Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist and Kolzig made 25 saves in the loss for the Capitals, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.
"As a goaltender, you do everything you can do to make the big saves," said Kolzig. "But you can't gift wrap two goals either."
The Caps got on the board in the first period courtesy of the power play. Backstrom had the puck at the right side of the net and sent it to the left where Alex Ovechkin knocked it in on his second chance with 6:48 left in the first.
Buffalo, though, tied the game with just 1:03 left as Kolzig came out to the right circle to clear a weak dump-in, but he didn't get all of the puck and it went to Roy, who deposited it into the back of the net.
Washington again took the lead as Backstrom's fifth goal of the year just 38 ticks into the second period made it a 2-1 game.
However, the Sabres evened the game with 1:18 left in the second as Maxim Afinogenov was sprung on a breakaway and he slid the disc just past the left pad of Kolzig for his fifth goal of the season.
Buffalo grabbed the lead just 19 seconds into the third as Drew Stafford stuffed the puck into the net on a wraparound from the left side.
Washington, though, benefited from a lucky bounce. Miller went behind his own net to play a dump-in, but before the puck got to him it took an odd hop off the backboards and went out front to Brooks Laich, who slid it into the open net at the 5:09 mark.
Washington hits the road for a game in Tampa Bay on Saturday...Buffalo returns home to face Chicago on Saturday...The Sabres have won six straight and nine out of 10 against Washington...Washington went 1-for-4 on the power play while Buffalo failed to score on any of its six chances.
12/14 23:21:47 ET