Vanecek, Capitals send Sabres to fourth straight loss


WASHINGTONVitek Vanecek made 22 saves to help the Washington Capitals defeat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 at Capital One Arena on Thursday.

Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Conor Sheary scored for Washington (8-4-3), which has won two in a row after a four-game losing streak. Vanecek made his 12th consecutive start.

Victor Oloffson scored a power-play goal for the Sabres (4-7-2), who have lost four straight. Linus Ullmark made 18 saves. 

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead at 17:23 of the first period after Ullmark made a save on Alex Ovechkin‘s shot, and during the ensuing scramble Backstrom knocked in the loose puck for a power-play goal.

Backstrom has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak.

Wilson made it 2-0 at 6:38 of the second period when he forced a turnover at the Capitals blue line and skated down for a shorthanded breakaway goal.

Sheary scored off the rebound of Lars Eller‘s shot at 7:28 of the third period to give Washington a 3-0 lead.

Olofsson pulled the Sabres within 3-1 at 11:27 when he beat Vanecek with a wrist shot from the left circle on a power play.

Sabres forward Curtis Lazar and defenseman Brandon Montour returned after each missed two games while in the Covid-19 protocol. Lazar played 8:01 and blocked two shots. Montour had a shot on goal in 19:08.

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