They did that in a dominant 6-1 victory, their most lopsided win of the season.
"We need to get on a little bit of a streak, but we also have to build our game, have a little bit of the killer instinct in us," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we did a good job, but we benefitted a little bit from the schedule today."
The Capitals took a season-high 45 shots, allowed a season-low 17 and won by a season-high five goals.
Alex Ovechkin, returning after missing a one game because of a lower-body injury, scored his NHL-leading 44th goal. Curtis Glencross had three points and Nicklas Backstrom's two assists tied him with Michal Pivonka for Washington's all-time record with 418.
"We've had a bit of trouble with the lower-echelon teams before, and I think tonight we stuck with our game and realized as the game went on that that's how we're going to have success against every team," Holtby said.
Johan Larsson scored for Buffalo (19-42-5), which lost its fourth straight game and 25th in its past 30 games (5-23-2). Goaltenders Matt Hackett and Anders Lindback combined to make 39 saves on 45 shots.
"Playing [Friday night in a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators], getting in at 3 in the morning, I just felt our fatigue really [kicked] in in the second period," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We didn't seem to have any kind of legs underneath us, and they took advantage."
The Sabres took an early 1-0 lead on Larsson's second goal of the season. After the Sabres won an offensive-zone faceoff, Larsson slipped into the slot, where Marcus Foligno found him for a wide-open wrist shot at 2:35.
Glencross tied the game on a similar play at 5:15, establishing position in the slot and beating Hackett with a wrist shot set up by a Mike Green pass from below the goal line. The goal was Glencross' second in three games with the Capitals since being acquired from the Calgary Flames on March 1.
"When I heard that we were getting him, I was pretty fired up just because I knew the type of guy he is and the type of player he is," Beagle said. "A guy that comes in and just is as positive as he is and just wanted to be here and excited, it's a good fit and it's showing."
The Capitals took control of the game in the second period, scoring three times on a season-high 23 shots to take a 4-1 lead, beginning with Beagle's career-high 10th goal at 5:27. Beagle set up Troy Brouwer for a shot, curling around the net to score on the rebound.
With Washington on the power play, Ovechkin took a wrist shot from the left circle which eluded Hackett for his 20th power-play goal of the season at 9:31. Laich broke a 26-game goalless drought at 13:53, scoring for the first time in two months when Tom Wilson intercepted a Buffalo clearing attempt and fed him in the high slot.
"I grabbed the monkey and threw him into the third section there, the 300s I think," Wilson said. "Hopefully he won't be back anytime soon. That's definitely a big weight off [Laich's] shoulders.”
Lindback, who replaced Hackett in the second period after he allowed four goals on 23 shots following Laich's goal, prevented the Sabres from falling further behind, stopping Ovechkin on a penalty shot and a Washington flurry within the final minute of the period.
"I thought we played a good first [period], and then the second was a little different," Hackett sad. "Obviously you want that third goal back, it was pretty ugly. I know I have a lot better than that. I guess I'll get some rest here and start battling harder than that. That wasn’t good enough."
In the third period, Ward scored on the power play at 3:41, stuffing in a pass from Glencross in the crease.
Johansson scored from in tight at 17:01 for Washington, which will take the next two days off before facing the New York Rangers on Wednesday in a pivotal Metropolitan Division game.
"It's what you would call I guess a 'feel-good game' to realize that when we play our game, we can have success," Holtby said. "It's a confidence builder going into New York, but at the same time, [it] doesn’t change how the game has to be played against New York. It's going to be a hard-fought match against one of the best teams in the League. It'll be fun."