Ovechkin scores No. 727, Capitals hold off Sabres

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BUFFALOAlex Ovechkin scored to help the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Friday.

It was Ovechkin’s 727th NHL goal, moving him within four of Marcel Dionne for fifth place all time.

Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists, Brenden Dillon had a goal and an assist and Lars Eller had two assists for the Capitals (26-11-4). Vitek Vanecek made 30 saves.

Henri Jokiharju, Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson scored, and Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves for the Sabres (9-25-6), who have lost two in a row after going 3-0-2 in their previous five games.

Dillon’s slap shot from the point gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 2:39 of the first period.

Ovechkin made it 2-0 at 11:39 when his pass intended for Tom Wilson deflected off Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and into the net.

Jokiharju cut it to 2-1 from the top of the left circle at 18:26.

Schultz scored from the top of the circles 28 seconds into the second period to make it 3-1.

Sabres forward Rasmus Asplund beat Schultz to the puck behind the net before sending it to Mittelstadt, who beat Vanecek top left corner from the right of the net to narrow it to 3-2 at 10:08.

Jakub Vrana put the Capitals ahead 4-2 when he one-timed Schultz’s backhand pass from the right circle at 9:48 of the third period. 

With Tokarski pulled for the extra attacker, Thompson tipped in a point shot by Rasmus Ristolainen to make it 4-3 at 18:40.

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