Washington , DC–
The Capitals scored three times in the first 7:45, sending goaltender Ryan Miller to the bench for Martin Biron. It was the third consecutive game in which Washington forced an opponent to switch goalies, an NHL first this season.
Richard Zednik tallied on a breakaway for the Caps at 2:01, pushing the puck past Miller’s glove side, and Brian Muir swept a shot from centre-point 34 seconds later.
Zednik and Muir scored 34 seconds apart during a four-goal first period and the Washington Capitals overcame Alex Ovechkin’s first career ejection in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Early in the second, Ovechkin leveled Briere into the right-wing boards, drawing a five-minute boarding major and touching off a series of skirmishes. Paul Gaustad pummeled Ovechkin, who didn’t throw a punch in retaliation.
“He was behind me I couldn’t see it. The puck was going deep and I was going for a line change,” said Briere. “It was definitely late and from behind. It’s tough to say whether he deserves a suspension.”
Ovechkin drew an automatic $100 fine for the hit, which will be reviewed by the league office to determine if further action will be taken. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff believes Ovechkin deserves additional punishment.
“Briere was defenseless. He went headfirst into the boards,” Ruff said. “I think if Washington looked at it through their eyes and it was Ovechkin going headfirst into the wall, I think they’d feel the same way. We don’t need those plays in the game.”
Ovechkin scored his team-high 17th goal before being tossed in the second period. “He got turned around and I hit him,” Ovechkin said, adding that he didn’t think the infraction warrants a suspension. “I didn’t want to give him some injury. It was an accident.”
Washington played the final 35:08 without Ovechkin, who was assessed a game misconduct for the first time in his two-year career after checking Daniel Briere from behind into the boards near the Buffalo bench.
Ovechkin drew a five-minute boarding major and touched off a series of skirmishes. Paul Gaustad pummeled Ovechkin, who didn’t throw a punch in retaliation.
The Buffalo Sabres seven-game winning streak at the Verizon Center came to a screeching halt on Saturday night. Zednik left late in the second with a right leg injury.
Washington recalled Jeff Schultz from AHL Hershey, but he wasn’t in the lineup. The Capitals also scratched Jamie Heward for facial laceration and RW Dainius Zubrus illness. Jaroslav Spacek left leg and Jiri Novonty upper body injury didn’t dress for Buffalo. Caps next game Wednesday December 6, 06 VS another Eastern division foe the Ottawa Senators.
The Caps Recorded Another Huge Victory Against Buffalo