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Neuvirth backstops Capitals to win over Sabres

Nov 18, 2010 - 2:44 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Michal Neuvirth made 31 stops, including 10 in a scoreless third period, helping Washington hold on to its lead in a 4-2 victory over Buffalo at Verizon Center.

Neuvirth recorded his league-leading 12th win for the Capitals, who are 10-1-0 at home this season. Matt Bradley had a goal and an assist, while Nicklas Backstrom and David Steckel also scored in Washington's ninth straight game with a point.

Alexander Semin extended his points streak to nine games with an empty-net goal and an assist.

Jordan Leopold and Derek Roy both tallied for the Sabres, who had won four of their previous five games. Ryan Miller surrendered three goals on 28 shots to take the loss.

Trailing by three midway through the second, Buffalo scored twice in 48 seconds to make a game of it.

Roy's power-play tally with 7:53 left in the period got the Sabres on the board, and they rode the momentum to Leopold's goal a short time later. Somehow the puck sat in the slot for several seconds, and Leopold was able to jump into the play and fire it to the left of Neuvirth for a 3-2 contest.

The third was largely dominated by Washington, save for a power play opportunity for Buffalo with 8:43 to play. The Sabres had several chances in front of the net, but Neuvirth was able to maintain the Caps' one-goal lead.

Buffalo pulled Miller in the last minute to gain an extra attacker, but couldn't tie the game, and Semin scored an empty-net goal with 3.2 ticks left.

Washington built an early lead with the game's first three goals.

The Caps skated with a two-man advantage just past the midway point of the first period, and Semin sent a cross-ice feed to Backstrom, who one-timed the puck into the net from the right circle at 12:31.

With 2:56 remaining in the first period, Bradley fanned on a shot from deep in the slot. He got a slight piece of the puck, however, and it trickled slowly under Miller's pads for a 2-0 lead.

Just 2:45 into the second, Steckel received a pass from Jason Chimera out in front of the net and scored for a three-goal lead.

Game Notes

Buffalo topped Washington in overtime, 3-2, on November 13 for the Sabres' first home win of the season...Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe returned after an eight-game absence (jaw) and posted a minus-one rating with no points...Roy has a six-game point streak with three goals and six assists...Semin has nine goals and eight assists during his nine-game stretch.