Capitals drop another game in Buffalo

Now back on the outside looking in
Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Well that playoff spot the Washington Capitals held was fun while it lasted. That lead expired on Thursday night in the form of a 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Couple that with a Detroit Red Wings vs. Penguins game in Pittsburgh that had to go to overtime that of course saw the Pens come out on top and take that second wild card spot.

Zach Benson struck first for the Sabres, who beat the Caps just nine days prior in the same barn. In the second Alex Tuch made it 2-0 at 12:37. Connor McMichael got the Caps on the board with his 18th goal of the season at 14:36 with the assists coming from Max Pacioretty and John Carlson. It was McMichael's first goal in seven games, breaking a scoring slump.

Jack Quinn made it 3-1 at 9:46. Dylan Cozens made it 4-1 with the empty netter at 17:43. Tom Wilson made it a two goal deficit at the 19 minute mark. Carlson and Alex Ovechkin assisted there and it was Wilson's 18th goal of the season.

There was just one power play the entire game and the Sabres came up empty on that one power play. The Caps led in hits 34-23 but had 16 shots blocked while the Sabres had 13 blocked shots. The Sabres gave the puck away four times compared to the Caps two but led in takeaways by a whooping 8-2. Caps were outshot 24-17.

This is one of those would have, could have, and should have. This is a game the Caps will look back on if they're on the golf course and not at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington prepping for the playoffs. But hey at least Virginia has it's share of golf courses around here, don't they?

There's three games left. The Caps have to win all three. If they don't they miss the playoffs and get a lousy draft pick. That's the bottom line and the cold hard truth.