For the first time in recent memory, it must have felt good to be in the Buffalo Sabres (13-9-1) after this 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals (12-9-1). In many ways, these are two very similar teams right now. Both are viewed as being underachievers so far this season. And both teams have had to deal with significant injuries.
The Sabres flipped the usual script and took a 2-0 lead of their own after one period. Luke Adam and Jason Pominville provided the goals for Buffalo. The Capitals struck back in the second period and made it a 2-1 game on a goal by Jason Chimera. But Zach Kassian scored his first career goal for the Sabres less than a minute later.
The Sabres were rolling headed into the third period and they added two more goals, a second goal from Luke Adam and a short-handed goal from Jochen Hecht. The goal from Hecht was his first of the year after spending the majority of the season on injured reserve. Jhonas Enroth stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced to pick up the win for the Sabres. Thomas Vokoun allowed all five Sabres goals on 25 shots.
The was a cathartic win for the Sabres. After the tough overtime loss to Boston and the shellacking in Columbus, they really needed a strong performance in front of the home fans on Saturday night. And they got it. They did everything that you hoped they would. Buffalo scored early, shot often and got contributions from players outside of Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek.
What’s really important now for the Sabres is to rest and get healthy. If Ryan Miller isn’t back soon, they’re going to need another goaltender to take an occasional start from Jhonas Enroth who has started every game in Miller’s absence. But getting healthy is really the primary concern.
The Sabres are off until Tuesday night when they face the New York Islanders in Buffalo.