Ovechkin scores 2 as Capitals beat Sabres 5-1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin added to his NHL lead with two goals on the night he tied the Washington record for most games played, and the Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 on Saturday.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 50 seconds into the game and had two assists. Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller also had goals for Washington, which leapfrogged Pittsburgh and moved back into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals had lost two in a row and five of seven.
Ovechkin’s 37th goal came on the power play with 9:47 remaining after Buffalo closed to 2-1 on Sam Reinhart’s goal 14 seconds into the third period. Ovechkin redirected a shot past Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner with 1:24 left for his 38th goal.
The 32-year-old Ovechkin played in his 983rd NHL game, tying Calle Johansson for most in Capitals history. Ovechkin holds franchise records for goals (595) and points (1,104).
Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves for his third win in three starts. Grubauer’s previous victory came against Buffalo, 3-2 on Monday.
The Sabres held out forward Evander Kane. He could be moved by Monday’s trade deadline.
“Management thought it was the best decision moving forward and the best decision for Evander,” coach Phil Housley said before the game.
After receiving the puck outside the blue line, Kuznetsov darted to the left of Lehner, cut across the middle and then patiently held the puck until Lehner committed. Kuznetsov knocked the puck into the open net for a 1-0 lead.
Burakovsky’s spectacular goal began with him evading four defenders before nudging a backhand into the left corner.
NOTES: Buffalo was 5-0-1 in its previous six road games. ... Washington won the season series 2-1. ... Kane, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, ranks second on the Sabres behind injured Jack Eichel with 20 goals. Kane is third in points (44) behind Eichel and Ryan O’Reilly. . Brett Connolly, Dmitry Orlov, Matt Niskanen and John Carlson had assists for Washington. . Buffalo’s last win at Washington came on Nov. 22, 2014.
Panthers: Host the Boston Bruins on Sunday evening.
Capitals: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
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