Coming off back-to-back incredible wins in the state of Florida to play themselves into a playoff spot, the Sabres returned home with another beautiful win, beating the Capitals 7-4 in a very fun matinee.
9:20 on a two on one with Casey Mittelstadt , Dylan Cozens got wide open all by himself in the middle of the ice and fired the puck in to get a 1-0 Sabres lead. The Caps tied it up with 5:15 left in the period though, making it 1-1 after UPL couldn’t slide over fast enough on a quick wrist shot from Dylan Strome. We answered right back though with 3:25 left in the first as Tage Thompson ripped a beautifully placed shot in the top left of the net, his 40th of the season. 15 seconds later though it was a tied game again with TJ Oshie scoring the Capitals second goal of the game as he was pretty much wide open right at the side of the net. Fun, pretty even first period with plenty of action.
The Sabres got back on top, 3-2 just 5:49 with Jeff Skinner tipping in Mattias Samuelsson’s shot after Skinner did great work in transition to bring the puck into the zone. We got out to a two goal lead with Zemgus Girgensons scoring from Kyle Okposo 8:36 into the second period. A few minutes later with 9:53 left in the second period, Darcy Kuemper got pulled after giving up the Sabres fifth goal of the day to Vinnie Hinostroza. With 7:11 left in the second, Dylan Cozens went flying down the ice for his second of the game, keeping the run of scoring six goals a game with the black and red jerseys going as he made it 6-2 Buffalo. Alex Ovechkin scored with 4:11 left in the second to make it 6-3 with the Sabres defense getting caught sleeping right in front and giving the best natural goal scorer of all time a perfect scoring chance right in front, which of course he capitalized on. The Caps made it a game again with 1:20 left in the game with Casey Mittelstadt giving up the puck, it going to Sonny Milano who was streaking out of the box, and making it 6-4 just eight seconds into their power play. Horrible awareness from Mittelstadt to give away that goal. High scoring, very good period for the Sabres and the offense poured it on, Quite lousy play defensively late though to give up those last two goals to Washington.
Hat trick Dylan Cozens! With 8:08 left in the game, Cozens scored his first hat trick of his career with a nice forehand backhand right in front of the net after a beauty tape to tape pass from Vinnie Hinostroza after good work from Mittelstadt down low with the puck.
Final: Sabres 7, Capitals 4
Huge win for the Sabres today, especially with both Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin out of the lineup. Amazing to see the legend of the red and black goatheads continue, with the offense on fire, led by Dylan Cozen’s first hat trick of his career. We outshot the Caps 38-30 and outplayed them by an expected goal rate of 4.68-3.32, beating them 30-18 in scoring chances.
Should get another win on Tuesday when the Blue Jackets come to town.
Let’s Go Sabres!!
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