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Backstrom, Bourque help Capitals jolt Sabres

Dec 31, 2008 - 3:59 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Nicklas Backstrom recorded a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals posted a 4-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Rookie Chris Bourque, who is the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, netted his first career NHL goal for Washington, which secured its fourth consecutive victory and improved to 9-1-0 in its last 10 games.

Brooks Laich and Boyd Gordon also tallied, Viktor Kozlov notched two assists and Jose Theodore finished with 31 saves for the Capitals.

"We got the early goal and it was important," Backstrom said. "We played together and we worked together. We're playing solid every game. Hopefully we can continue that in the new year."

"We have everybody playing with confidence," Theodore said. "It was time to put everything aside and play the way we can."

Adam Mair and Clarke MacArthur scored and Ryan Miller turned aside 27 shots for Buffalo, which fell to 6-4-2 in its last 12 contests.

"It's embarrassing," Buffalo's Thomas Vanek said. "You want to be strong at home, we talk about it all the time and it hasn't happened yet. It's past Christmas. Key guys need to be better and I'm one of them."

"It wasn't a very strong effort, from every position starting with myself," Miller said. "Three rebound goals ... I'm not thrilled with getting in the way of the first one. I need a little better awareness on my part."

Laich opened the scoring 1:57 into the first period after cleaning up a rebound before beating Miller for his 11th goal of the season.

Drafted in the second round - 33rd overall - in the 2004 draft, Bourque doubled the advantage just over seven minutes later after collecting the puck in the slot and wristing it past Miller.

"It's awesome that I got that first one. It was surreal," Bourque said. "I couldn't believe it was right there. It was a perfect shot by 'Stecks' (Dave Steckel) and I crashed the net hard. I got lucky with the rebound right on my stick. I wasn't going to miss that one."

"I was really happy with Chris getting his first NHL goal," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "The goal in the second period was the one that really gives you some breathing room. The way we reacted after they scored was very nice."

With his team on the power play, Backstrom gave the Capitals a three-goal bulge with 7:49 remaining in the second period with his 11th goal of the season.

"Rebounds were the key," Boudreau said. "We scored three rebound goals - and an empty-netter. The shots are going to set the plays up, it doesn't work the other way around."

Theodore's bid for his second shutout of the season and 28th career came to an end with just over 12 minutes remaining in the third period as Mair netted his fifth goal of the season.

Gordon added an empty-net tally with 43 seconds remaining in the third before MacArthur netted his 11th tally with 11 seconds left to cap the scoring.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 2 1 1 4
    BUFFALO 0 0 2 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 11 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 1:57
    WAS - CHRIS BOURQUE 1 (DAVID STECKEL, ERIC FEHR) 9:02
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 11 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, MIKE GREEN)
    12:11
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM

    Dec 30 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) CLARKE MACARTHUR 11 (JOCHEN HECHT, JAROSLAV
    SPACEK) 19:49

    Capitals 4, Sabres 2  3rd - 0:11Dec 30 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    BUFFALO 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - (SH) (EN) BOYD GORDON 4 (UNASSISTED) 19:17

    Capitals 4, Sabres 1  3rd - 0:43Dec 30 9:26 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Capitals 3, Sabres 1  3rd - 3:20Dec 30 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    BUFFALO 1
    3RD PRD: BUF - ADAM MAIR 5 (PAUL GAUSTAD, TONI LYDMAN) 7:41

    Capitals 3, Sabres 1  3rd - 12:19Dec 30 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 2 1 3
    BUFFALO 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 11 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 1:57
    WAS - CHRIS BOURQUE 1 (DAVID STECKEL, ERIC FEHR) 9:02
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 11 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, MIKE GREEN)
    12:11
    SHOTS

    Dec 30 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    BUFFALO 0
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 11 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, MIKE GREEN)
    12:11

    Capitals 3, Sabres 0  2nd - 7:49Dec 30 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 2 2
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 11 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, VIKTOR
    KOZLOV) 1:57
    WAS - CHRIS BOURQUE 1 (DAVID STECKEL, ERIC FEHR) 9:02
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 12

    Dec 30 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - CHRIS BOURQUE 1 (DAVID STECKEL, ERIC FEHR) 9:02

    Capitals 2, Sabres 0  1st - 10:58Dec 30 7:25 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) BROOKS LAICH 11 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    1:57

    Capitals 1, Sabres 0  1st - 18:03Dec 30 7:13 PM
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    Capitals vs. SabresDec 29 4:21 PM
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    Capitals vs. SabresNov 18 4:42 PM