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Sabres Win 6-2 Over Capitals in Skinner’s 1000th



Washington Capitals Buffalo Sabres game recap

JJ Peterka scored twice as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Washington Capitals 6-2 in Jeff Skinner’s 1000th NHL game. The Sabres dominated play throughout most of the game but went into the third period only up a goal. They grabbed the reins from there, scoring three in a two-and-a-half-minute span.

Must Read: Celebrating an Elite 1000 Games for Skinner

The scoring opened just 2:46 into the game when a Martin Fehervary point shot found its way through Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on the Capitals’ first shot. Washington held the lead until Zemgus Girgensons deflected Rasmus Dahlin’s point shot past Charlie Lindgren. JJ Peterka scored on the powerplay just over a minute later to give the Sabres the lead after one.

Peterka added his second of the night in the second period to extend Buffalo’s lead, before Dylan Strome slid a powerplay goal through Luukkonen right before the end of the period.

Dahlin added another powerplay tally for the Sabres in the third, followed by Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch each scoring on nice backdoor feeds to deflate the Capitals.

Impact Players

Seven Sabres players had an expected goal share of over 79%, including the man of the hour, Jeff Skinner. Skinner failed to score in the game but had some chances in tight. He came closest when he walked the puck out in front of the sprawling Darcy Kuemper and flipped it off the crossbar.

While it would’ve been nice to see Skinner score in front of his family and friends, he played great nonetheless.

“I had enough friends and family out there. I’m sure I’ll hear about what I could have done.”

The other six Sabres included Skinner’s linemate Peyton Krebs, Buffalo’s top defensive pair in Owen Power and Dahlin, and the entire top forward line of Peterka, Thompson, and Tuch.

The top line combined for nine points in the game as they remain one of the hottest-producing lines in the NHL since uniting.

The Difference

Not only did the Capitals look flat, but they seemed uninterested in pressing the Sabres most of the game. Instead of working pucks into high-danger areas like Buffalo was, Washington settled for point shots, traffic in front, and rebound opportunities.

While that strategy can work, it kept the Capitals flat-footed and out-paced throughout the game.

Meanwhile, the Sabres were wheeling and dealing with the puck. They constantly zipped passes into difficult areas and tape-to-tape. The crispness was a taste of how Buffalo’s offense can and should work, which is something Sabres fans probably aren’t interested in hearing at this point in the season.

What’s Next

With the playoff hope still (barely) alive, the Sabres will host the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The Flyers have moved back into the third seed in the Metropolitan Division and remain there thanks to the Capitals losing.

Buffalo has six games remaining on the schedule to make up five points on Washington with the Capitals having two games in hand. Philadelphia sits six points ahead of the Sabres with the same amount of games played. The playoffs are a stretch, but the head-to-heads remaining give Buffalo hope.