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Washington Capitals Postgame Notes & Quotes

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Game Summary

Event Summary
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Team Notes:

  • Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates earned his first career head coaching win.
  • The Capitals outshot Buffalo 30-24.
  • Washington won 33 of the game’s 53 face-offs (62%).
  • The Capitals blocked 18 shots compared to Buffalo’s nine.
  • Washington has now scored a third-period goal in four consecutive games. Five different Capitals players have tallied third-period goals this season.
  • The Capitals went 2-2 on the penalty kill.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals’ 156th consecutive sellout at Verizon Center.

Player Notes:

  • Joel Ward scored his third goal of the season and assisted on Erskine’s goal. He leads Washington in goals scored. Today was Ward’s second multi-point game of the season after recording one two-point game in 2011-12.
  • Michal Neuvirth earned his first win of the season and his 52nd career victory.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season, a power-play, game-winning goal. It was Ovechkin’s 56th career game-winning goal.
  • John Erskine scored his first goal of the season. It was Erskine’s first regular-season goal since April 5, 2011, at Toronto. The Capitals are now 9-0-0 when Erskine scores a goal. He skated 20:56 of ice time.
  • Jason Chimera assisted on both goals and now has four assists on the season. His last multi-point game came on March 23, 2012, vs. Winnipeg and his last two-assist game came on Nov. 1, 2011, vs. Anaheim.
  • Mike Ribeiro collected two assists and leads the team with five assists and six points.
  • Mike Green assisted on Ovechkin’s goal and now has three points (1g-2a) in his last two games.
  • Green led the Capitals in ice time (27:58) for the fifth consecutive game this season.
  • Ovechkin paced the team with five shots on goal.
  • Ovechkin, Brouwer and Hendricks all registered three hits.
  • Erskine, Ward and Jeff Schultz paced the Capitals in blocked shots with three each.
  • Jay Beagle won 12 of his 15 face-offs (80%).

Post-Game Quotes:

Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates on improvement on the penalty kill…
“It was better. I think we’ve had a couple of tough bounces; 5-on-3 goals are different. Our rebounds [had been] bouncing over guys’ sticks whereas today they hit our guys’ sticks and we got a clear out of it.”

Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates on Alex Ovechkin…
“I thought Ovi [Alex Ovechkin] played well today. He obviously could have had a couple [of goals] in the first, and had a chance in the second. He scored a big goal for us, and then could have had an empty netter. So I hope he would look at it like ‘yeah, I had a lot of good chances.”

Washington Capitals Forward Jason Chimera on the success on the ice today…
“Today I thought we played a pretty complete game. Neuvy [Michal Neuvirth] played really well for us; he made some big saves for us. The power play got us one, which is huge; Ovi [Alex Ovechkin] got one, which is huge for us.”

Washington Capitals Forward Jason Chimera on the play of the Capitals…
“You’ve just got to get pucks to the net. I think when you get pucks to the net good things happen. Look at Erskine’s [John Erskine] goal. He threw it to the net and found a way to make things happen. You’ve got to do those. Once you start working hard, those ones seem to bounce your way.”

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin on playing with Troy Brouwer and Nicklas Backstrom…
“I think it’s more [about being prepared] mentally and the guys getting in shape. When you’re in shape, you have more power and more physicality. I think our line – me and Brouwsy [Troy Brouwer] can hit.

Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth on the first win of the season…
“Finally we got the win, and that is all that matters. We are extremely happy, but tomorrow is another day and another game on Tuesday and we’ve got to be ready.”

Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff on the second period and the lack of an attack…
“I thought in the second [period], we passed up on some opportunities to take it to the net or even get pucks to the net. We looked in some situations for a high slot, and I thought there were four or five [times] that we could have attacked and didn’t, and that resulted in not a lot of opportunities.”

Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff on his team in the first period and why they were able to capitalize…
“There was a lot more determined play [in the first period]. There were a lot of plays there tonight I liked, from forcing turnovers, to getting in top of people, to not giving them time, the bottling up the neutral zone. We just as a team have to do a better job out in front of their net. We’re not getting enough bodies there.”

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson on his line’s play tonight…
“There were a couple bad bounces, the one goal [by John Erskine] it hit off my stick but other than that, like in the third period last game, we’ve got to create better chances. [Marcus Foligno] did a great job keeping the puck down low [on his goal] and attacking the net and that’s what we need to do more of.”

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson on the loss of Thomas Vanek and how they need to respond …
“Obviously, you can’t replace Thomas Vanek, but other guys can step up, and it takes the whole team to compensate for a guy like that. We need to put in a better effort all-around but especially our line could have done more.”

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller on the team’s play and the game-winning Ovechkin goal…
“It’s coming around, I thought there were a few better habits out there. It was tough to give Ovechkin one in the third period there and spot them another goal. I think my read could have been a little bit better. He came from a down low position and their first look is usually Ovechkin. It was a bad read.”

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller the injuries and how the team played tonight…
“Vanek has been going real good so it’s tough to lose him. I think he got tripped up last night and he tweaked something. Hopefully it’s not long, but you can’t be defined by one guy. It’s great when we have a full team, but that’s not going to be the case this year. It’s going to be too fast and not a lot of rest. There are going to be things that pop up and you have to deal with them. We made a few adjustments tonight to our game, and compliment that with play-making and goal-scoring that we saw early on and maybe we’d have a few more [goals]. I’m not going to say we had a great game but I saw some things that we did a lot better.”

Team Schedule:

  • The Capitals are scheduled to practice tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

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