Instant analysis: Capitals 5, Sabres 4, OT

Instant analysis: Capitals 5, Sabres 4, OT
January 28, 2014, 10:15 pm
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Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8) brings the puck past Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (10) during the first period at First Niagara Center.

(Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night at First Niagara Arena:

How it happened: Mike Green’s goal 1 minute into overtime gave the Capitals their second straight win. Three times the Capitals grabbed leads and all three times the Sabres fought back to tie. Alex Ovechkin scored twice in a span of 53 seconds in the first period, but Christian Ehrhoff and Cody Hodgson answered back to knot the score at 2-2. Mike Green scored on a wraparound midway through the second period, only to see Phillip Varone answer 62 seconds later with his first NHL goal to tie. And when Troy Brouwer gave the Caps a 4-3 lead with 3:03 left in the second period, the Sabres again returned fire when Hodgson tied it up on a delayed penalty 6:48 into the third period following as Jason Chimera giveaway.

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What it means: The Caps have won two games in a row for the first time since Dec. 9 and 10. They moved to 24-21-8 and 56 points, one behind the wild card holding Carolina Hurricanes and two behind the third-place Flyers in the Metropolitan Division.

Inside the box score: The Caps’ defense pairing of Mike Green and Dmitry Orlov was a plus-2, while the top pairing of John Carlson and Karl Alzner was a minus-2.

Notable: Brooks Laich proclaimed himself ready to play before the game and centered a second line with Marty Erat and Troy Brouwer. Ovechkin finished with two goals and two assists, while Green finished with two goals, his 100th and 101st, and an assist.

What’s next: The Caps were set to fly to Columbus after the game, where they’ll practice on Wednesday in preparation for Thursda night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have won seven of their last 10 games.