In Washington, DC, the Capitals’ John Carlson scored the only goal in the skills competition to help Washington defeat the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, on Friday night.
“He’s (Vanecek) really calm back there, and he really stepped up in the shootout,” Backstrom said. , . “Especially when we missed a few there at the start. That was huge.”
Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves for the win.
The Sabres’ top line came up empty yet again this season.
“Yeah, they had so much opportunity, lots of chances, unbelievable puck control, and we need [the] Eichel, Reinhart, Hall line to just get one or two and I’m confident they’re going to explode,” Buffalo head coach Ralph Krueger said. “They’re just so dangerous, so lethal. Jack had [hit] a post in [regulation] time, [and] a post on his penalty shot.”
“Losing is never acceptable,” Staal said. “But there’s also a process to how you win. We’re working at that. There are parts that are good, and there could be areas that have a little more improvement. We all need to be a little bit better and push ourselves to get those wins and be overall better.”
Linus Ullmark made 29 saves in the loss.
“It is adversity,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said, “and sometimes when you are faced with adversity those are the sweetest wins and those are where you have to overcome some obstacles. We felt good about the lineup. We certainly miss the guys that aren’t in there, but we felt good about the lineup. It was a really good win, really good hard-fought win for us.”