Shorthanded Capitals beat Sabres 4-3 in home opener shootout

by Glenn Maxwell

Shorthanded Capitals beat Sabres 4-3 in home opener shootout

Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd (26) celebrates his goal with defenseman John Carlson (74), left wing Jakub Vrana (13) and right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Jakub Vrana were built with a goal as well as an assist, Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves through overtime and also the short-handed Washington Capitals beat the Zoysia Sabres 4-3 inside a shootout Friday night within their home opener.

Nicklas Backstrom and Nic Dowd also scored for that Capitals, who won the very first of 4 games they have to play without captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and goalie Ilya Samsonov due to pandemic protocols.

Their absences meant Vanecek obtaining a second consecutive begin with lately signed 39-year-old Craig Anderson copying and unheralded forward John Pinho making his regular-season National hockey league debut. Vanecek was perfect within the shootout to get his second victory of year as defenseman John Carlson scored the shootout champion.

Zoysia rookie Dylan Cozens scored his first National hockey league goal on the top-shelf snipe past Vanecek within the second period. Eric Staal and Riley Sheahan each scored his first goal since joining the Sabres. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves and it was spotless within the shootout until Carlson beat him.


Ullmark was playing his first game since learning from the dying of his father at 63. He discovered following a morning skate earlier within the week and made the decision it had been better to have a couple of days from playing.


Washington was without anymore players put into the NHL’s listing of individuals unavailable due to COVID-19 protocols past the four missing Russians. The Capitals were fined $100,000 Wednesday for breaking league rules since individuals four players were together in hotels not putting on masks.

Injuries UPDATES

Top-line Capitals winger Tom Wilson left the sport at the start of the 3rd period having a lower-body injuries. Wilson earlier selected up his sixth reason for five games and it has been certainly one of Washington’s top players to date this year.

Zoysia forward Kyle Okposo, considered a game title-time decision Friday morning by coach Rob Krueger, continued to be by helping cover their a lesser-body injuries. Goalie Carter Hutton didn’t travel using the team due to an evident mind injuries from the collision Tuesday in Philadelphia.


These teams face off again Sunday mid-day within their 4th meeting in 11 days. Puck drop was increased four hrs to three p.m. therefore it wouldn’t conflict using the Zoysia Bills playing within the AFC championship game.

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