Things just keep getting worse and worse for the Sabres this season. Desperate for points, the Sabres were defeated by a 5-3 score at the Verizon Center on Sunday night.
Ryan Miller was lit up as he allowed five goals on 25 shots, suffering his 13th loss of the season. Washington scored early and often and because of it, leaped over Buffalo in the standings, making the Sabres 29th in the league in terms of points.
Mathieu Perreault’s late third period goal was the dagger in the Sabres’ hearts, ending any comeback thoughts after the Sabres had scored twice to cut the lead down to one.
Alexander Ovechkin got the Capitals on the board just 19 seconds into the game, giving his team some early momentum.
Halfway through the game, the Capitals had opened the flood gates and were out to a 4-1 lead. Jason Chimera scored his first goal of the season and less than a minute later Marcus Johansson had Washington up by three.
The Sabres crawled their way back into the game with goals from Cody Hodgson and Bryan Flynn, cutting the deficit to one. Hodgson’s second of the night came on a power play and the Sabres trailed by one with under 15 minutes to play.
Buffalo was applying pressure late in the third period and even had a power play chance, but couldn’t capitalize on it. Washington’s goal with 4:55 remaining in the game all but sealed the victory for the Capitals.
It is the second time this season that Buffalo has dropped a game to Washington. The two teams will meet once more and the Capitals will be eyeing a season sweep.
The Sabres were crushed on faceoffs, winning 23 and losing 41. Buffalo falls to 1-5-1 when allowing less than 30 shots on goal.
Patrick Kaleta was eligible to return to Sunday’s game after serving his five game suspension, but head coach Ron Rolston decided to make him a healthy scratch.
“That’s just drama and he needs to just grow up,” Ryan Miller said of Kaleta. “He had a stupid play in a game. He sat, he was punished.”
The Sabres will next head to Montreal to take on the Canadiens on Tuesday. They will play Montreal again on Saturday. Tuesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.