With just a minute left in overtime, Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek put an end to a Caps comeback and earned the Sabres their first home victory.
Another inconsistent game plagued the Caps, this time letting the Sabres erase a one-goal lead in the second period. Outshot 11-4 in the second, the Caps let Vanek and Steve Montador put the Sabres ahead and forced coach Bruce Boudreau to shuffle up the lines to get something going.
The wake-up call worked, with Niklas Backstrom cracking a high shot over goalie Ryan Miller’s right shoulder midway through the third period. Miller showed few signs of his injury that dogged him earlier this season, stoning an Alexander Ovechkin breakaway near the end of the first and stopping 25 Caps shots. Ovie’s eight game point streak came to an end on Sabre ice; Vanek’s two goal night snapped a seven game drought.
Rookie goalie Braden Holtby stopped 24 of the 27 shots faced and Karl Alzner scored his first NHL goal to give the Caps their first period lead.
The Caps return home to face the Atlanta Thrashers in a 5 pm contest.