Buffalo
Sabres
52-24-6
Washington
Capitals
29-41-12

29 SOG
19 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
WSH
game recap

Sabres 3, Capitals 2

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:26 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 3, Capitals 2
Buffalo Sabres 3, Washington Capitals 2

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres had a simple game plan against Washington, keep the pressure on the tired Capitals.

The strategy worked.

Jason Pominville netted his first NHL goal, and Thomas Vanek and Jochen Hecht also scored to help the Sabres stretch their unbeaten streak to six with a 3-2 victory Sunday.

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff knew Washington didn't get much sleep after the Capitals played a game in New York that started at 8 p.m. and wasn't decided until the Rangers won in the 15th round of a shootout.

He wanted the Sabres to turn up the intensity, and they often pushed the Capitals back on their heels by controlling play.

``That's a tough trip for them. That's a tough turnaround,'' Ruff said. ``We talked about really trying to press, having both (defensemen) pinching, sending in two guys off all draws and creating as much pressure as we could.''

The Sabres got nine of the game's first 10 shots and held a 29-19 edge overall as the Capitals looked worn down at times. Buffalo had numerous scoring chances but either missed or saw Washington goalie Olie Kolzig turn them away. Kolzig made 26 saves.

``When you play a National Hockey League game 17 hours after the last game, I just don't think that's right,'' Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. ``But we didn't even talk about it, and we didn't use it as an excuse. At the end, we were still working hard.''

Vanek scored the go-ahead goal, and Hecht added a short-handed score late in the third period. Pominville also was on the ice during a wild final minute when Washington pulled Kolzig, and Buffalo had two players on the ice without sticks. The puck was cleared with 25 seconds left.

``It's a dream come true,'' Pominville said. ``Hopefully, it can keep going.''

Maxim Afinogenov and Derek Roy assisted on the first two goals. Afinogenov made perfect crossing passes on each to help the Sabres improve to 5-0-0-1 in their last six games.

Washington has lost four straight.

Buffalo's Martin Biron finished with 17 saves and made a big stop on his brother, Mathieu, in the second period. Biron also had to fend off a late surge as Washington pressed for the tying goal.

``They really came on strong in the last five minutes,'' Martin Biron said. ``We got a little lucky in the last minute. I think they might've hit three posts, a crossbar.''

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead when Pominville scored by redirecting Afinogenov's pass by Kolzig for a power-play goal 3:56 in.

Washington tied it when Steve Eminger scored on a power-play goal at 5:16 of the second period, putting away the rebound of his own shot. Rookie Alexander Ovechkin assisted to give him at least one point in four straight games.

Vanek put Buffalo on top for good by converting another slick cross from Afinogenov with 48.8 seconds left in the second period.

Hecht flipped a back-hander past Kolzig for a 3-1 lead with 3:37 remaining. Matt Pettinger answered for Washington with 1:59 remaining.

Notes: The Sabres have scored power-play goals in 17 of 18 games. ... Eminger hadn't scored a goal in 17 games. ... Buffalo's short-handed goal was its first of the season.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:56
BUF
PPG - Jason Pominville (1) Slapshot - ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (10), Derek Roy (3)
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
05:16
WSH
PPG - Steve Eminger (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Bryan Muir (5), Alex Ovechkin (10)
1 - 1 Tie
19:11
BUF
Thomas Vanek (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (11), Derek Roy (4)
2 - 1 BUF
3rd Period
16:23
BUF
SHG - Jochen Hecht (5) Backhand shot - ASST: Tim Connolly (11)
3 - 1 BUF
18:01
WSH
Matt Pettinger (5) Snap shot - ASST: Jeff Halpern (15), Brian Willsie (8)
3 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
02:09
WSH
Brooks Laich  Holding against  Derek Roy
04:30
BUF
Andrew Peters  Boarding against  Ivan Majesky
10:52
WSH
Mathieu Biron  Hooking against  Derek Roy
12:58
BUF
Ales Kotalik  Hooking against  Matt Pettinger
2nd Period
02:37
WSH
Jeff Halpern  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
04:34
BUF
Jochen Hecht  Hooking
06:04
WSH
Ivan Majesky  Tripping against  Paul Gaustad
09:17
WSH
Bryan Muir  Hooking against  Ales Kotalik
10:44
WSH
Brian Willsie  Hi-sticking against  Derek Roy
15:44
BUF
Tim Connolly  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
3rd Period
01:21
WSH
Andrew Cassels  Hooking against  Chris Drury
03:41
BUF
Derek Roy  Hooking
12:57
BUF
Adam Mair  Hooking
14:54
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Holding the stick against  Bryan Muir
goalie stats
Martin Biron
Martin Biron
SA: 19TOI: 59:55
Saves: 17EV: 9 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .895SH: 1 - 1
Olie Kolzig
SA: 29TOI: 59:00
Saves: 26EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .897SH: 1 - 2