The Buffalo Sabres came back three times to match the scoring efforts of the Washington Capitals, but it would not be enough as they fell to the Capitals in overtime by a final of 5-4 at First Niagara Center on Tuesday night. Mike Green scored the game winner just a minute into the overtime period for his second goal of the night.
“We showed a lot of guts battling back. It’s a winnable game for us,” Hodgson stated. “We could have closed it out in the third period and some little mistakes and breakdowns would ultimately cost us.”
Phil Varone also scored his first NHL goal of his career for Buffalo and had this to say after the game:
“It’s every kids dream. I’ve thought about it a lot especially since I’ve been called up,” Varone said. “Just wish it came with a win, would have felt a lot better.”
The Capitals got on the board early in the game with a powerplay goal. Troy Brouwer won the offensive zone faceoff to Nicklas Backstrom who got it back just far enough for Alex Ovechkin to rip a one-timer past Jhonas Enroth at 3:49 in the first period.
Less than a minute later, Ovechkin and the Capitals extended their lead to two. At 4:42, Ovechkin deflected a shot from Mike Green past Enroth for his second goal of the night. Marcus Johansson also assisted on the play.
After a slow start, Buffalo finally got on the board. At 13:45, Christian Ehrhoff stuffed home a loose puck in the crease for his fourth goal of the season. Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis assisted on the play.
The Sabres tied things up early in the second period on the powerplay at 1:41. Cody Hodgson received a pass from Moulson to the right of Braden Holtby and roofed it past him for his 13th goal of the season. Tyler Ennis got credit for his second assist of the night.
The lead was short-lived as Buffalo answered right back. Just over a minute later, Philip Varone scored his first career NHL goal for the Sabres. At 11:11, Varone received a cross-crease pass from Marcus Foligno for an easy put away. Brian Flynn also assisted on the play.
The Sabres could not hold off the Capitals in the second period and gave up a goal late. At 16:57, Troy Brouwer beat Enroth with a slapshot in the slot to make it 4-3. Martin Erat provided the feed and Ovechkin also got credit with an assist for his third point of the game.
Cody Hodgson made a great individual effort on a delayed penalty in the Washington zone to tie the game. At 6:48 in the third period, Hodgson put a backhand shot past Holtby for his second goal of the night.
Regulation would end in a tie, and Washington would take control in overtime. Mike Green got the game winner just one minute into the extra period to lift the Capitals over the Sabres by a final of 5-4.
Buffalo heads to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes this Thursday.