Alex Ovechkin can stop fretting
BUFFALO Womens Kyle Palmieri Jersey , N.Y. (AP)about what the Washington Capitals captain described as the worst game of his career.He and the Capitals were much better in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, two days after a 7-1 meltdown at Chicago.After being held without a shot against Chicago, Ovechkin responded by scoring his NHL-leading 35th goal, and Washington reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan DivisionArticle continues below ...”Yeah, I think the last game I didn’t play my game. I think it was the worst play of my career by myself. I take the blame on it,” Ovechkin said. ”I think we understand the game in Chicago was just forget about it, you know. We moved forward. We got two points.”Capitals coach Barry Trotz noticed how much more involved Ovechkin was against Buffalo, particularly after a few early exchanges with Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.”Sometimes to wake up the bear up, you poke him a little, and he goes,” Trotz said of Ovechkin, who reached the 35-goal plateau for the 10th time in 13 NHL seasons.John Carlson had a goal and assist and Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots in a game Washington led 2-0 after two periods.Evgeny Kuznetsov sealed the victory by scoring into an open net with 26 seconds remaining to put Washington up 3-1, and the Capitals ended a four-game road trip at 2-1-1.Washington improved to 34-18-7 for 75 points , moving one ahead of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins, while preparing for a showdown at home Tuesday against Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.Kyle Okposo spoiled Grubauer’s shutout bid by having Scott Wilson’s shot from the high slot deflect in off him with 7:18 remaining.Evander Kane closed the scoring with 4 seconds left in a final period in which Buffalo managed 17 of its 34 shots. Backup goalie Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots, starting in place of Robin Lehner, who was given a day off to rest a nagging lower-body injury.Though disappointed in the outcome, Sabres coach Phil Housley was more pleased with his team’s overall performance following a sloppy 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.”The result, definitely we don’t like. We want to win at home here,” Housley said. ”But against a really good hockey team, I can’t fault our guys for the effort.”The Capitals struck twice in the second period on goals determined by video reviews.Ovechkin scored 1:18 into the period by getting his stick up to bat down Christian Djoos‘ rising shot from the left point and bounce it inside the left post. The goal held up, with the NHL ruling Ovechkin’s stick was not above the crossbar.Carlson scored with 6:27 left in the second period during a scramble for the puck to the left of the Buffalo net. Carlson jammed the puck loose and into the crease, where it briefly rolled across the goal line an instant before Okposo kicked it out.Play continued until the next whistle with 6:13 left, when a review determined the puck went in.Johnson wasn’t sure how high Ovechkin’s stick was on the first goal, though he knew the second goal was in.”It’s just two lucky goals and that’s the game,” Johnson said. ”Obviously Anthony Mantha Jersey , we made a good push in the third. It just wasn’t enough.”Carlson said the Capitals can take some positives out of a trip in which they opened with a 4-3 overtime loss at Winnipeg and then beat Minnesota 5-2.”The stinker, everyone talks about it,” Carlson said, referring the loss at Chicago. ”But we played a lot of good minutes of hockey on this trip.”NOTES: A few hours before the opening faceoff, the Capitals acquired D Michal Kempny in a trade with Chicago for a conditional 2018 third-round pick. … Trotz laughed in describing the phone conversation he had in welcoming Kempny to the team. ”I told him, we’re not as bad as he saw in Chicago,” Trotz said. … Buffalo recalled G Linus Ullmark from AHL Rochester to back up Johnson. Ullmark was returned to the minors immediately after the game.UP NEXTCapitals: At home against Tampa Bay.Sabres: Play their next two on the road, starting at the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.— LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tyler Toffoli sent the Los Angeles Kings into their holiday break with a little extra hope for the New Year.Toffoli scored 1:40 into overtime to lift Los Angeles past the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Sunday night, marking the second straight night the Kings won in overtime after beating San Jose on Saturday.It was Los Angeles’ third straight win overall, while it collected a point for the fifth time in six games. Los Angeles is trying to climb out of last place in the Pacific Division.After Kings goalie Calvin Petersen made a series of spectacular saves to start overtime, Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt turned his back on a streaking Toffoli, who caught the Golden Knights on a shift change. He took Oscar Fantenberg’s stretch pass and beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway with a wrist shot.“I have no clue what their D-man was doing, but you know what Darren Helm Jersey , I’m not mad,” Toffoli said of Schmidt. “I’ve been getting some really good opportunities. Yeah, I wasn’t scoring but I thought my game was really in a good place. To score that, hopefully (we can) go on a little streak here and keep winning games, which is huge for us right now.”Michael Amadio, Alex Iafallo and Jeff Carter also scored for the Kings, and Petersen stopped 22 shots.After opening the season 4-8-1, Los Angeles fired coach John Stevens. Under interim coach Willie Desjardins, the Kings are 10-12-2 and eight points back of the second wild-card spot, albeit still in last place in the league with 31 points, tied with Chicago.The Kings were swept by Vegas in the opening round of last season’s playoffs but are 2-0-0 against the Golden Knights this season.“They had a tough series here last year in the playoffs and they wanted to find a way to win tonight,” Desjardins said. “Vegas has a good team, they play hard. It was nice for us to find a way to win though.”It also marked the second consecutive night Vegas fell in overtime after losing at home to Montreal.Fleury started for the second straight night and made 28 saves , facing 79 shots in the two games. The 15-year veteran, who swung and broke his stick on the side of the goal immediately after Toffoli scored, debunked the notion he may have been fatigued in playing on consecutive nights.“I felt decent actually, it wasn’t too bad,” Fleury said. “It’s a grind sometimes, but we’ve done it throughout the season, throughout this year, and that’s no reason for losing the game. It’s frustrating. I want to make a difference. I want to make those saves to give our team a chance to win games, and I haven’t.”Fleury leads all goalies with 34 games played and 2,019 minutes. The next closest goalie is Toronto’s Frederik Andersen, who has been in net 1,779 minutes.Tomas Nosek, Reilly Smith and Ryan Reaves scored for Vegas Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids , which dropped to 11-4-2 at home.NOTES: The teams will meet twice more in the next nine days, with the Golden Knights visiting Los Angeles on Dec. 29, and the Kings returning to T-Mobile Arena on New Year’s Day. … The Kings played their 2,000th regular season road game. … Kings D Drew Doughty played in his 365th consecutive game, extending his franchise record that began Oct. 8, 2014. … Vegas C Ryan Carpenter was a healthy scratch and remains one shy of playing in his 100th career game. … Los Angeles improved to 3-17-2 when opponents scores first. … After opening the season 0 for 16 on the power play in their first six games, the Golden Knights have scored with an extra man in 23 of their last 33 games (25 for 103, 24.2 percent). … The Kings, who rank last in the NHL with their road power play, have scored with a man advantage in three of their last four games — all on the road.UP NEXTKings: Host Arizona on Thursday.Golden Knights: Host Colorado on Thursday.

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