After six games on the road, the Washington Capitals will reencounter the fans, though the result Saturday could have been better. The Caps have won and lost three out of six games, including a 3-0 shutout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. And since December 22. the Caps haven’t defeated anyone without giving up at least one goal, until they beat the Ottawa Senators by 4-0.
In the last six games against the Sabres, the Caps have lost by 5-2. With 198 goals against, among the teams occupying a playoff spot, the Caps are the team that allowed most goals. With 207 goals for, they rank seventh among the teams occupying a playoff spot and fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Yet in the first period, the Sabres managed to go to the first intermission with a 2-0 lead with goals by Jason Pominville and Sam Reinhart. Alex Ovehckin reduced their advantage to 2-1, scoring his 44th goal in the season. That was Ovi’s five-game goal streak, leading the league with 44 goals, five more than Patrick Kane, the second on the list.
With just 31 seconds remaining in the second period, Rasmus Dahlin extended their two-goal advantage once more by converting a power play. Andre Burakovsky tried to put the Caps in the game again, but Reinhart, with his second goal of the game, made it 4-2.
The Capitals tried to gain an advantage with the empty net, but Reinhart completed the hat trick and sealed the home team victory by 5-2. That was Carl Hagelin’s debut as a Caps, though it wasn’t as he (and we) expected.
The Caps have lost to a team which was coming from a four-game losing streak. So, the defense is still an area which needs more attention, especially when they are getting closer and closer to “that” time of the year. The Caps have 198 goals against, the most among teams in playoff spots. On the other hand, they have scored 207 goals, ranking seventh among the 16 teams occupying playoff spots at the moment and the fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Even so, the Caps have 75 points, just two behind from the leading-division New York Islanders and four ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets, although they already played 62 games, while the division rivals still have two to get even.
The Caps reencounter their fans tomorrow, after six games on the road, hosting the New York Rangers at Capital One Arena, 12:30 PM ET.
Thanks again to NBC Sports Washington for great coverage of the game and our great screen shots!