The Washington Capitals fought hard but dropped their preseason opener 4-3 in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena. The game also featured a practice shootout round so the players and referees can get their reps in.
At 4:05 of the first, the Caps scored on the power play after Lawrence Pilut was called for holding Aliaksei Protas. They got the goal off a pass from Erik Gustafsson to Anthony Mantha. Mantha ripped it in from the right face off circle for the 1-0 lead. The Sabres outshot the Caps 11-6 in the first period.
In the second the Sabres scored twice. The first goal came on the power play from Dylan Cozens at 4:25 after Protas was called for hooking. They took the lead at 9:16 on a tally from Tyson Kozak.
At 9:42 the Caps tied it. Nic Dowd found Aliaksei Protas who fed a cross ice pass to Conor Sheary for the slam dunk. 2-2 was the score after two. The Caps outshot the Sabres 9-7 in the second period.
The Caps took the lead at 5:43 with a goal from Herndon, VA native Joe Snively. Brett Leason and Vincent Iorio had the helpers and it was sort of Iorio’s first NHL point albeit the game didn’t count.
Late in the game Iorio was called for hooking, putting the Sabres on the power play. They scored at 18:55 from Jack Quinn to force overtime. In the 3 on 3 Vinnie Hinostroza scored the game winning goal.
In the practice shootout the lone Capitals goal came from Snively. The Caps outshot the Sabres 12-9 in the third period. There was only one shot in overtime which of course was the game winner. The Sabres narrowly outshot the Caps 28-27 overall.
The Caps are back in action on the road in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.