A slow start sank the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. The Washington Capitals used an early lead to defeat Buffalo 6-1 at Capital One Arena.
Defenseman Henri Jokiharju scored the Sabres' lone goal for the first of his career. Linus Ullmark made 28 saves.
Buffalo outshot the Capitals 34-30. Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots for Washington. The Capitals lead the Metropolitan Division with a record of 10-2-3.
The Sabres are now 9-3-2 on the season and have yet to go back-to-back games without earning a point.
How it happened
Things got out of hand pretty quickly for Buffalo. Washington scored four times in the game's opening 10:44.
First, Jakub Vrana opened the scoring 6:17 in on a breakaway. Then on Chandler Stephenson put a deke on Ullmark to finish a 4-on-1 rush to make it 2-0 just 42 seconds later.
Vrana scored his second at the 9:29 mark and then Brendan Leipsic tallied to put the Capitals ahead by four. Washington's first four goals came within a span of 4:27.
Jokiharju put Buffalo on the board with an odd shot that found its way beyond the goal line with 9:20 remaining in the second period. However, the Capitals regained their four-goal lead when Tom Wilson scored with 3:20 left in the period.
Just as a Sabres power play ended, the Capitals made it 6-1 with 6:17 to go in regulation when T.J. Oshie scored his eighth of the season.
What it means
The Sabres are now 0-3-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets this season. They've been outscored 17-5 in the opening game.
However, they're 2-0-0 in the second game and they've outscored their opponents 5-0 with 3-0 and 2-0 victories. Will that trend continue tomorrow? A Sabres fan can only hope as the team hosts the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Roll the highlight film
Here's one Jokiharju will never forget:
Video: BUF@WSH: Jokiharju scores first career NHL goal
The Golden Season celebrations continue Saturday night for '70s Night presented by Fallsview Casino Resort.
Over 20 alumni from the team's first decade of existence are set to attend. The list currently includes:
Prior to the game, alumni will greet fans in the 100 Level and will then be welcomed onto the ice before the opening faceoff. Equipment manager Rip Simonick, who is in his 50th year on the team's staff, will also be recognized.
The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1970s-themed Sabres pennant as well.
Click here for more details on the night.
The Islanders beat Tampa 5-2 on Friday for their eighth-straight victory. Buffalo will face the Lightning next weekend in Sweden for a pair of games as part of the NHL Global Series.