4 - 5 Final - OT
  for this game

Caps outlast Sabres in OT, gain first in East

Apr 3, 2011 - 3:11 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:41 left in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

In the extra session, Ovechkin skated the puck from the deep left boards into the left circle and attempted a pass to the right side, but it deflected off of two Buffalo players and slid past Jhonas Enroth for the win.

The win gives Washington 103 points on the season as the team jumped one point ahead of Philadelphia for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Washington has three games to play while Philly has four.

"Tonight we had a lot to learn about playing away from the puck," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We weren't that good at it and we need to do better. That being said we did win and you have to fight no matter what in this league."

Mike Knuble scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom had three assists and Ovechkin finished the game with a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who have won three of four. Michal Neuvirth stopped 34 shots in the win.

Drew Stafford had two goals while Thomas Vanek and Paul Gaustad each lit the lamp in the loss for the Sabres, who came into the game having won four of five. Enroth stopped 30 shots in the loss.

"There were some really funny goals by both teams today," said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "But our defensemen kept getting caught cheating offensively and that will hurt you against a team like Washington."

The point gives Buffalo 88 on the season, one more than the New York Rangers for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.

Knuble scored just 37 seconds into the game and Alexander Semin made it a 2-0 contest when he tapped in a Backstrom shot that was about to cross the line four minutes later.

Ruff called a timeout after that to settle his team down and it worked as the team scored the next two to tie the game.

The first came off of a Jason Pominville shot from the left point that hit off of Vanek in front at the 6:30 mark. Just three minutes later, Stafford's first goal of the game tied the contest.

After a scoreless second period, Buffalo took a 3-2 lead with 7:25 to play as Gaustad got a pass behind the defense and stuffed a forehand in, but the Caps answered less than two minutes later on the power play as a shot by Brooks Laich in the high slot was deflected in by Knuble.

Stafford's second goal of the game and 30th of the season came when his pass from the right circle hit off of John Carlson and went in on the power play.

However, the Caps tied it with another power play goal and Varlamov pulled for a 6-on-4 that saw Arnott score his 400th career goal off a rebound from the left side with 51.3 seconds to play in regulation.

Game Notes

Referee Bill McCreary officiated his final game. His career started on November 3, 1984 in a game between Washington and New Jersey and over 27 years he called 1,737 games in the regular season and 297 playoff contests...Buffalo plays at Carolina on Sunday...The Capitals play in Toronto on Tuesday...Washington won three of four from Buffalo this season.