Tom Wilson and Michal Kempny each recorded three points Friday as the Washington Capitals rode an early offensive outburst to a 6-1 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.
Kempny recorded three assists for the first three-point game of his four-year NHL career. Wilson assisted on both of Jakub Vrana’s goals, and he collected his fifth goal of the season.
Brendan Leipsic had a goal and an assist. Travis Boyd also added two assists, and Chandler Stephenson and T.J. Oshie accounted for the Capitals’ two other goals.
Washington extended its winning streak to three games and now has a 7-0-1 record over its past eight games. The red-hot Capitals lead the NHL in both points (23) and goals scored (59).
A nightmarish stretch of defensive play from the Sabres gave the Capitals a 4-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game.
Jack Eichel’s giveaway resulted in a breakaway goal for Vrana 6:17 into the first period. Only 42 seconds later, another defensive breakdown from the Sabres led to a four-on-one rush for Washington, with Stephenson putting the final touch on the lopsided passing play.
The turnovers then gave way to poor coverage from the Sabres in their own end, as the Capitals enjoyed wide-open looks on net for their next two goals.
Kempny sent a pass across Buffalo’s zone to an open Vrana at the 9:29 mark that resulted in Vrana blasting a one-timer for his second goal of the game.
Less than a minute later, Boyd had room to carry the puck around the net and then find Leipsic at the inside edge of the far circle. Leipsic buried the shot for his first goal of the season.
Henri Jokiharju’s first career NHL goal put the Sabres on the board 10:40 into the second period. This was Buffalo’s only score of the contest, though the Sabres put two chances off the goalpost in the first period.
Braden Holtby saved 29 of 30 shots for his fifth win in his past six games. Holtby has a 10-4-1 record and a 2.48 goals-against average in 15 career games against Buffalo.
Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark allowed six goals on 34 shots, a hard-luck stat line given the lack of help he received from his defensemen.
The Capitals are 12-3-0 in their past 15 games against the Sabres.
—Field Level Media