@ 7:00 PM
Washington: Mar 26 vs. NY Islanders Loss 3-2
Buffalo: Mar 28 at Panthers Loss(SO) 5-4
Rank In Conference:
Power Play Ranking:
Penalty Kill Ratings:
Washington: Ovechkin(16), Brouwer(12), Ribeiro(11), Ward and Fehr(6)
Buffalo: Vanek(16), Hodgson(12), Pominville(10), Ennis(9)
Washington: Ribeiro and N. Backstrom(24), Ovechkin(16), Brouwer, Ward, and Carlson(11)
Buffalo: Vanek(17), Hodgson and Ennis(16), Pominville, Ott, and Ehrhoff(13), Foligno(10)
Washington: Ribeiro(35), Ovechkin(32), N. Backstrom(29), Brouwer(23)
Buffalo: Vanek(33), Hodgson(28), Ennis(25), Pominville(23)
Washington: Fehr(+7), Erskine(+6), Ward and Orlov(+5), Perreault and Oleksy(+4)
Buffalo: Ehrhoff(+9), Vanek and Ott(+5), Hecht, Sulzer and Flynn(+3), Pardy(+2)
Washington: Hendricks(60), Ribeiro(41), Volpatti(33), Ovechkin and Chimera(26)
Buffalo: Ott(63), Kaleta(55), Weber(52), Scott(50)
Washington: Ovechkin(140), Carlson(74), Brouwer(71), Chimera(63)
Buffalo: Vanek(94), Hodgson(89), Pominville(87), Ennis(85)
Washington: Carlson(84), Alzner(57), Green(33), Erskine(31)
Buffalo: Ehrhoff(62), Weber(58), Sekera(51), Leopold(49)
Washington: Ovechkin(80), Brouwer(69), Hendricks(61), Volpatti(51)
Buffalo: Ott(139), Weber(86), Foligno(73), Regehr(56)
Washington: N. Backstrom(281), Beagle(192), Ribeiro(145), Hendricks(105)
Buffalo: Hodgson(285), Ott(195), Ennis(140), Hecht(95)
Today Starting Goaltender Matchup:
Washington: Braden Holtby 13-11-0 2.66 GAA .916 SV% 4 SO
Buffalo: Jhonas Enroth 2-2-0 2.99 GAA .905 SV% 0 SO
Last Meeting: Mar 17 Capitals Won 5-3
Season Series: Capitals Lead 2-0-0
All-Time: Sabres Lead 83-43-16
All-Time vs. WSH: Sabres Lead 44-23-6
Panthers rally in third, defeat Sabres in shootout
Jonathan Huberdeau listened to some advice from an injured teammate, and it paid immediate dividends.
The Florida Panthers’ rookie sensation snapped a nine-game goal drought with a game-tying power-play tally with 6:09 left in regulation, then scored in the shootout as his team rallied to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Thursday night at BB&T Center.
Huberdeau’s goal was his 13th of the season, tops among NHL rookies.
“I was watching a little bit the stats, but now I decided I’m going to stop watching that,” Huberdeau said. “It can go in your head. [Kris] Versteeg told me, just don’t watch the stats and it’s going to go well. I stopped actually three nights ago and now it went well. So now I’ve got to stop watching.”
Huberdeau, who hadn’t scored since March 8 against the Winnipeg Jets, couldn’t remember the last time he had gone that long without a goal at any level.
“Probably it was the longest,” he said of his drought. “But I don’t think about that. As long as we win, I don’t care if I don’t score for 15 games. We’ve just got to win.”
Huberdeau’s goal came in the second round of the shootout and was awarded after the play was reviewed, as the puck barely crossed the goal line. He scored after Buffalo captain Jason Pominville had given the Sabres a 1-0 lead on the opening attempt of the tiebreaker.
Florida won the shootout in the fourth round when Mike Santorelli beat Ryan Miller with a backhand-to-forehand deke and a high shot. The goal was Santorelli’s ninth in 18 career shootout attempts.
“Really? I don’t keep track,” Santorelli said. “All that matters is that one went in. I saw him poke check there and luckily I was able to go around him.”
Thursday marked the second consecutive meeting between the teams that went to a shootout. The Sabres won 4-3 at BB&T Center on Feb. 28, 25 days after the Panthers won 4-3 at Buffalo.
Islanders snap Capitals’ winning streak
The New York Islanders started fast, took a strong counter punch and found a winner late Tuesday night, and they will wake up Wednesday morning two points from a playoff spot because of it.
John Tavares scored his 20th goal of the season with 5:18 remaining in the third period, and the Islanders claimed a key 3-2 victory against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center in their quest for a spot in the top eight of the Eastern Conference.
“That line struggled a little bit in the first two periods but I talked with them after the second and I knew they were going to find a way,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of his top unit of Tavares, Matt Moulson and Brad Boyes. “When you need a big goal, it’s that line that usually comes up for us. It was good to see those guys respond in the third.”
Washington defenseman Mike Green lost the puck in his feet to the left of his own net; Moulson scooped it up and fed Tavares for a quick one-timer from the right circle. Tavares became the second player to reach 20 goals this season.
The Islanders, who haven’t made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2007, moved past the Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes into ninth place in the East with the victory. They trail the eighth-place New York Rangers by two points; the Rangers also have a game in hand.
“Not much has been accomplished just yet, so we’ve got to focus on the next game,” Tavares said after the Islanders won the opener of a four-game trip. “Obviously we’re happy with the result but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if we can’t get some momentum here.”
Washington forward Brooks Laich took responsibility for the Islanders’ game-winner, and coach Adam Oates called it a “tired play.” Laich was on the ice for 50 seconds before the goal and 80 seconds in his previous shift.
“I was a little fatigued, I went back and wanted to send it behind the net,” Laich said. “I didn’t think I could get it to Mike direct, and I didn’t want to turn it over in front of our net, so I sent it behind the net. Bad angle, bad decision by myself — I put Mike in trouble and the result was the winning goal.”
The Capitals (15-17-1) came home from a road trip with three straight wins and a chance to move into ninth, but a slow start and a second loss in as many contests against the Islanders damaged their charge towards a sixth consecutive playoff berth.
This Day In Sabres History:
March 30, 2001
Dominik Hasek records his 55th regular season shutout as a Sabres, and his last, in a 4-0 win over the Thrashers at HSBC Arena. It’s the Dominator’s third shutout in 10 days. The Sabres clinch a playoff berth and reassume the league lead in fewest goals against. Miro Satan, Chris Gratton and James Patrick are among the scorers, and Steve Heinze chips in with three assists.
Washington: Erskine Upper Body(IR/Out), Kundratek Right Leg(IR/Out), Poti Back(IR/Out), Fehr Upper Body(Questionable), Ovechkin Chin(Probable)
Buffalo: Sulzer Right Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Vanek Lower Body(Questionable)
Next 5 Games:
Mar 31 vs. Boston Bruins 7:30 PM(MSG HD/NBCSN HD/TSN HD)
Apr 2 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)
Apr 5 vs. Ottawa Senators 7:00 PM(MSG HD)
Apr 7 vs. New Jersey Devils 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)
Apr 9 at Winnipeg Jets 8:00 PM(MSG HD, TSN HD)