Ovechkin matches Esposito with 717th goal; Caps rout Sabres
Ovechkin matched Phil Esposito for sixth on the NHL list with his 717th goal and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-0 on Monday night. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots for his first NHL shutout and improved to 4-0-1 against the Sabres. Backstrom’s 11th goal of the season came in his 984th game with the Capitals, passing Calle Johansson for second-most games in franchise history. Hutton made 24 saves for Buffalo, which is 0-9-2 in its past 11 games, the third-longest skid in team history. AdThe Sabres recalled center Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad and sent defenseman Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad.
Washington Capitals take 3-0 lead, beat NJ Devils 5-2
Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) scores a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEWARK, N.J. – Garnet Hathaway and Daniel Sprong scored in the opening 5:06, the streaking Washington Capitals built a big lead and held off the slumping New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Saturday. Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha each scored for the second consecutive game for New Jersey, which has lost four of five. The Capitals, who rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat New Jersey last Sunday, learned from that game and started fast. Vanecek, playing in his 16th game, made at least three good saves early in the third period to keep Washington ahead. NOTES: The Devils presented C Travis Zajac a silver stick before the game for playing his 1,000th game last weekend.
Short-handed Capitals beat Sabres 4-3 in SO in home opener
“I wasn’t thinking about it," Vanecek said of his first NHL shootout. “We want to win hockey games in good ways and feel good about ourselves,” Dowd said. Buffalo rookie Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal on a top-shelf snipe past Vanecek in the second period. The Capitals were fined $100,000 Wednesday for breaking league rules since those four players were together in a hotel room not wearing masks. Goaltender Carter Hutton didn’t travel with the team because of an apparent head injury from a collision Tuesday in Philadelphia.