Washington Capitals outlast Sabres behind two Tom Wilson goals and more history for Ovechkin

Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals downed the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 last night in a wild Monday night game featuring several deflections for goals, some key saves by Vitek Vanecek and familiar studs coming up clutch when needed to be. Plus milestones!

At 2:13 in the first period Trevor van Riemsdyk set up Alex Ovechkin for a shot. Tom Wilson defected it in for his second goal of the season. Although Ovechkin was robbed of a goal, it was one step toward another crazy milestone. Yeah it was assist 599. 600 would come later. The Caps led in shots 12-6 after the opening period and 1-0 would be the score.

In the second period the Caps doubled their lead at 2:30 with a goal in front from Connor McMichael for his second of his career and first at home. The 2019 first rounder was assisted by Justin Schultz and Carl Hagelin. Let’s talk McMichael’s celly because I absolutely love how he just extends his arms like “omg I got a goal!”. So excited for these kids.

At 3:43 the Sabres would get on the board as a result of Ovechkin getting wiped out and turning the puck over to former Capital Cody Eakin, who made it look easy. Ugh. The Caps would get a big goal before the period would end, however.

It came from none other than Ovechkin and it was a deflection right in front of the net too. It came off a shot from Dmitry Orlov while Evgeny Kuznetsov had the secondary assist. The goal was the 741st of Ovechkin’s career to tie Brett Hull for fourth place on the NHL’s all time goal scoring list. It was also his league leading 11th of the season. 3-1 was the score after two with shots even in the second period at nine apiece.

The Sabres would lead the Caps 13-9 in shots in the final period (Washington with the edge 30-28 overall) and get some goals but the Caps got key scores when it mattered most to stave off any upset.

Anders Bjork got the Sabres within one at 3:17. The Caps answered at 6:45 with a backhanded goal from Wilson for his second of the night and third of the season. Kuznetsov had the assist.

The Caps would get a power play later and their third try was the charm at 17:47 with a goal from John Carlson for his third of the season. Kuznetsov and Ovechkin had the assists. With Ovechkin providing the secondary assist it was the 600th assist of his career.

Hot. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby was the latest Caps rookie who made his NHL debut. light

Colin Miller would score at 18:56 but it wasn’t enough as the Caps hung on for the 5-3 win. Vanecek made 25 saves for a .893 save percentage. The Caps will hit the road on Thursday and Friday with the first stop coming in Detroit on Thursday.