What's Buzzing:
4 -
Team 1 2 3 OT
WAS 0 1 2 0
BUF 1 2 0 0

Green rallies Caps to 4-3 SO win over Sabres

AP - Sports
Green rallies Caps to 4-3 SO win over Sabres

View gallery

Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his game-winning goal as Buffalo Sabres …

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- It was second time lucky for Mike Green, and the Washington Capitals are suddenly showing signs of making a legitimate late-season charge up the Eastern Conference standings.

After watching his shot deflect off the post and wide of the net 7 minutes into the third period, Green got a much better bounce on another shot from the same spot with 40 seconds remaining.

Green's goal - which struck the left post and banked in off the back of Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth's arm - capped the Capitals' two-goal, third-period rally. Matt Hendricks and Alex Ovechkin then scored on Washington's two shootout attempts to seal a 4-3 win on Saturday night.

''No, I didn't call 'bank.' It was more of a wish than anything,'' Green said, describing his goal. ''I came back to the bench and said, 'I wish it would have hit him in the back and went in.' And the second one did, so somebody was listening.''

Green added an assist, while Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer also scored in regulation in helping the Capitals (16-17-1) improve to 4-1 in their last five. With the win, Washington took over sole possession of 11th place, a point ahead of Buffalo, in the Eastern Conference standings.

Braden Holtby stopped 20 shots through overtime, and didn't allow a goal in the shootout.

''These are the type of games that we are going to need to steal to make a playoff push,'' Green said. ''A big win for us.''

It was an all too familiar finish for the inconsistent Sabres (13-16-6).

Buffalo is 0-1-2 in its past three. The Sabres have squandered two-goal leads six times this season, and they were coming off a game in which they blew a third-period lead in a 5-4 shootout loss at Florida on Thursday.

''It's happened too many times,'' forward Ville Leino said. ''It shouldn't happen. Good teams usually win those games.''

Leino scored twice, while Christian Ehrhoff also scored for Buffalo on a day the team already began looking to the future.

Hours before the game, Buffalo traded veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold to St. Louis in exchange for two draft picks - including a second-rounder. Leopold was in the final year of his contract and Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said he's focusing on improving the team beyond this season.

The Sabres jumped to a 3-1 lead despite being outshot 27-15 after 40 minutes.

The Capitals got a lift while killing off a delay-of-game penalty to John Carlson early in the third period.

From behind his net, Holtby swept the puck up the left boards. The puck dribbled past Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera at the point, which set up Brouwer to score for a 2-on-1 break.

Buffalo has allowed a league-worst six short-handed goals.

Green's goal fueled the Capitals' momentum entering overtime.

Mike Ribeiro nearly sealed it for Washington 2:46 into overtime, but was robbed by Enroth's diving save.

Enroth, who stopped 35 shots, then gave up goals on both shootout attempts.

Hendricks scored by faking to his right and then going to his left, where he flipped a shot over goalie's pad.

After Holtby got his right pad out to stop Buffalo's Tyler Ennis, Ovechkin sealed the victory by snapping a shot through Enroth's legs.

''It's a credit to our guys for sticking with it,'' Holtby said. ''Greenie came up with a huge goal, and that's what the leaders on your team do.''

NOTES: Ovechkin extended his point streak to seven games, in which he has seven goals and 11 points. He has 32 points (20 goals, 12 assists) in 30 career games against Buffalo. ... Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek (upper body) missed his second straight game. ... Ehrhoff played his 600th career game.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (26)
  • Devils-Capitals Preview

    The Capitals begin another season of raised expectations when they host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. Regular-season successes and playoff failures have often been the norm during the 10-year Alex Ovechkin era in Washington. Such was … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Rangers net 3 in 1:17 span, top Jackets

    Rangers net 3 in 1:17 span, top Jackets

    Goalie Henrik Lundqvist admitted his New York Rangers were in a tough hole when Columbus scored with just under four minutes left to take the lead. Mats Zuccarello had two goals and the Rangers scored three times in 1:17 late in the third to rally … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago
  • QMJHL Roundup: Beauvillier, Cataractes down Huskies 8-7 in overtime

    SHAWINIGAN, Que. - Anthony Beauvillier had three goals — including the winner 14 seconds into overtime — and added two assists and Dennis Yan had three goals and two helpers of his own as the Shawinigan Cataractes edged the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 8-7 … More »

    The Canadian Press - 22 minutes ago
  • Abdelkader has hat trick, Red Wings beat Leafs, Babcock 4-0

    Abdelkader has hat trick, Red Wings beat Leafs, Babcock 4-0

    Justin Abdelkader had a hat trick and Dylan Larkin scored in his NHL debut, helping the Detroit Red Wings beat the Mike Babcock-led Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 on Friday night. Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots for his 21st career shutout for the Red … More »

    AP - Sports - 52 minutes ago
  • James Wisniewski tears ACL in Hurricanes debut, out six months (Video)

    James Wisniewski tears ACL in Hurricanes debut, out six months (Video)

    James Wisniewski tears ACL in Hurricanes debut, out six months (Video) … More »

    Puck Daddy - 52 minutes ago