Saturday, November 13 2010 11:00 pm
By Joe Beninati
CAPITALS PAGE CAPITALS VIDEOS
The Sabres were bound to win one at home sooner or later and a brilliant goal by Thomas Vanek in OT would send Buffalo fans to the exits in a good mood for the first time this year.
The Caps 6-game win streak would come to end just one minute away from a potential shootout. Vanek put on two gorgeous moves that undressed John Carlson and Braden Holtby before sliding his backhanded game winner.
Vanek would be the game's 1 star as he finished with two goals on the evening, the other while he was camped out in front on a second period power play. His work spoiled a very strong showing from the 21-year-old Holtby. The Caps are finding out just how deep they are with young talents in goal.
While Semyon Varlamov is on the mend in Hershey, Holtby has impressed in his limited duty. His catching glove is exceptionally quick and he anticipates cross crease passes very well.
It was a strange 1st period for a number of reasons. The first was the fact that Washington actually scored the opening goal. Karl Alzner's blast beat a screened Ryan Miller for a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period was almost comical watching the Sabres lose their balance in the defensive zone, as many as four different guys took a tumble on the bad ice.
The second period turned in favor of Buffalo. The Caps barely tested Miller who appeared to be in fine form working back from his hip injury.
It was a very quiet night for Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin. Neither of them generated very much offense. A Steve Montador slapper sailed by Holtby to tie the score. Vanek's tap-in set the stage for an exciting third period.
The Capitals had plenty of jump in that last frame. Nicklas Backstrom scored his first goal of November around the 7 minute mark in the third to even the count. His wrist shot banked in off the crossbar, catching Miller by surprise on the stick side. Regulation time ended with the Caps short-handed for the last two and half minutes. Backstrom nicked former Cap Shaone Morrisonn with a high stick that drew blood.
Holtby and the D.C. penalty killers performed very well to stuff the Sabres who attacked in waves. Just when you thought the momentum would swing in Washington's favor in OT, Vanek stole the show with a highlight reel effort.
Time to get on the plane and get back home for Atlanta Sunday afternoon.