WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals’ only lead of the game came at the perfect time.
In the final seconds of overtime, Dylan Strome pushed the puck past Buffalo Sabres goalie Devon Levi, giving the Capitals a 4-3 victory Wednesday night.
The Capitals spent most of the night working from behind as Buffalo’s JJ Peterka put the Sabres on the board first 10 minutes into the game. That was soon followed by Zach Benson’s first NHL goal, placing the Capitals two goals down in the first 16 minutes.
But Benson wasn’t the only one tallying milestones as Alex Alexeyev also collected his first NHL goal before the end of the first period — the Capitals’ first success at shrinking the Sabres’ lead.
A goal from TJ Oshie, coming nearly eight minutes into the second period, brought the score back even. But the Capitals’ failure to kill a penalty a few minutes later culminated in not only a goal from Buffalo’s Dylan Cozens, but the Sabres regaining the lead.
The Sabres carried that one-goal advantage into the third period, and clung to it as the Capitals tried once again to knot the score. But after the Capitals pulled Darcy Kuemper for the extra attacker, Tom Wilson was able to tie the score with 75 seconds to go.
The two teams traded blows in overtime, but it was Strome who was able to break through in the final seconds, securing the Capitals’ fifth-straight win.
OSHIE FINALLY FINDS THE NET…
In his 16th game of the season, TJ Oshie finally tallied his first goal of the season.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 23, 2023
And it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Capitals had been working to gain ground on the Sabres, who opened the game by rushing ahead by two scores. After the earlier goal by Alexeyev, Oshie’s goal brought the score back even.
The goal’s impact was short-lived, however, as the Capitals surrendered the lead eight minutes later.
…BUT THE POWER PLAY DOESN’T
While Oshie’s goalless streak was snapped Wednesday night, another, perhaps worse, lull remains.
After squandering two chances against the Sabres, the Capitals are 0-for-23 on power play opportunities over the team’s last nine games. It’s been nearly a full month since Dylan Strome scored the team’s last power play goal, coming Oct. 27 against Minnesota.
While Strome’s game-winning goal came with a man advantage via a pulled goalie, it does not count as a power play goal.
“We’re gonna count it as a power play goal,” Strome said postgame.
Come night’s end, the Capitals are 3-for-45 on the power play this season — worst in the NHL.
After the Thanksgiving holiday, the Capitals host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is scheduled for 3 p.m.