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Capitals vs. Sabres Recap: Shootout Dooms Washington

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Connor McMichael made his Capitals debut in Buffalo’s 4 to 3 shootout win over Washington.

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

For the second time this weekend the Capitals and Sabres needed a shootout to decide a winner and this time it went Buffalo’s way in a 4 to 3 visitor’s victory.

Here’s Sunday afternoon’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: In his NHL debut McMichael registered a single shot and a minor penalty in ten minutes of ice time.

Minus: Washington was whistled for five minor penalties and it gave the Sabres the contest.

Nine more notes on the game:

  1. The Capitals were on the board early with Justin Schultz’s first in Washington. A hard hit from Garnet Hathaway allowed the puck to get to Schultz and he deposited it from distance.
  2. Late in the first frame McMichael was penalized for hooking 200 feet from the Capitals’ net. An aggressive penalty kill and a pair of saves from Vitek Vanecek made sure the youngster’s infraction was harmless.
  3. Washington’s strong penalty kill play would take a hit in the second period though. Midway through Colin Miller fired the puck past Vanecek’s glove through traffic for the first of two tallies.
  4. T.J. Oshie registered a power play goal of his own at the twelve minute mark. A rising point shot from Schultz was deflected down by Oshie and over the leg pad of Linus Ullmark.
  5. But Buffalo’s power play connected again just 73 seconds later. With Nic Dowd serving a tripping penalty Victor Olofsson put the puck into the net for the third time this year, tying the game at two.
  6. A third power play goal for the Sabres in the third period put Buffalo ahead for good. An Eric Staal bomb beat Vanecek on his near side for a temporary lead.
  7. Temporary because Nicklas Backstrom potted a power play goal of his own two minutes later. From an impossible angle he shot the puck off of Ullmark’s rear
  8. Taylor Hall was granted a penalty shot but hit the post behind Vanecek’s left ear. With the score even at three the teams went to overtime.
  9. In the shootout the only player to score was Jack Eichel on the Sabres’ first attempt. Ullmark stopped Backstrom in the third round the secure their win.