Linus Ullmark returned to the crease last night and led the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals.
Ullmark made 33 saves through regulation and overtime in his first start since he sustained a lower-body injury on Jan. 28. He stopped six Capitals in the shootout.
Rasmus Dahlin and Dominik Kahun scored in the seven-round shootout. In regulation, Victor Olofsson netted his 20th goal of the season and Jack Eichel ended a seven-game goal drought.
Here's what you need to know.
A look back at last night
Video: Kahun's SO winner helps Sabres defeat Capitals
From the Postgame Report…
Linus Ullmark waited almost six weeks to be back between the pipes in a game for the Buffalo Sabres after going down with a lower-body injury on Jan. 28. It was no vacation.
"[It was] quite boring, to be honest," Ullmark said. "You want to be with the team, you want to be in the mix, you want to be there and do what you do best."
It's fitting, then, that the goaltender saw plenty of excitement in his return on Monday. Ullmark stopped 33 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime and then made six more saves in a seven-round shootout to help the Sabres snap their six-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Video: Linus Ullmark on the postgame show
Video: POSTGAME: Eichel
The long shootout was icing on the cake for what had been a rollercoaster game. The Sabres saw their 2-0 lead evaporate in the third period and then had a potential go-ahead goal by Brandon Montour waved off due to goaltender interference, a call coach Ralph Krueger vehemently disagreed with afterward.
It was Ullmark who ensured the game made it to overtime with a point-blank stop on Ilya Kovalchuk, who fired a one-timer from the edge of the crease with less than two minutes remaining. He stopped an Alex Ovechkin attempt from the slot in the final minute.
Krueger has noted at points throughout the season that Ullmark has brought a calming presence to the ice, an observation Jeff Skinner shared after the game.
"He was real good," Skinner said. "He made some big saves. I thought he had great, great rebound control, which is big, especially against this team. They got some skill guys and they got some guys that can roll around. They can create some sort of havoc in front of your net."
Video: POSTGAME: Krueger
Video: POSTGAME: Skinner
He kept his cool in the shootout against a skilled Capitals lineup that featured three shooters with multiple goals in the skills competition this season: T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, and Ilya Kovalchuk. Ullmark stopped all three.
The only Capital to score in the shootout was Evgeni Kuznetsov, who tied the score after Rasmus Dahlin put the Sabres ahead on their fourth attempt. Dominik Kahun beat Braden Holtby off his backhand to make it 2-1 in Round 7, then Ullmark sealed the win with a save on Richard Panik.
Ullmark said he gave little thought to shooters tendencies, opting instead to keep it simple.
"Just take it penalty shot by penalty shot," he said. "There's nothing more to that."
Click here for the full recap.
Courtesy of @SabresPR…
Linus Ullmark stopped six of seven Capitals shootout attempts to improve to 4-2 in his career in the shootout. His .840 save percentage in shootouts ranks third among active NHL goaltenders (min. 2 shootouts) and currently ranks first in Sabres history.
His four shootout wins trail only Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10) for most in franchise history.
Video: List of Sabres Rookie 20 Goal Scorers
Dominik Kahun's game-deciding goal was his first career NHL shootout goal. He is now 1-for-2 in the shootout in his career.
With his 35th and 36th assists in his 59th game of the season, Rasmus Dahlin surpassed his output from his 82-game rookie campaign (35).
Dahlin also scored on his first career shootout attempt. It was the fifth shootout goal ever scored by a Sabres defenseman and the first since Rasmus Ristolainen's goal on March 17, 2017 at Anaheim.
Ristolainen's goal at Anaheim was the last of 10 previous shootout attempts by Sabres defensemen before last night.
Thanks to our friends at the Academy of Hockey
Nick Tuzzolino, Dan Collins and John Daigneau joined the broadcast last night to provide some unique analysis and share some teaching moments during the game:
Video: Academy of Hockey: Defensive Zone Breakdown
Video: Academy of Hockey: Shooting Breakdown
Video: Academy of Hockey: Goaltending Analysis
Matt Ellis joined the pregame show and Tim Kennedy sat down with Martin Biron for another edition of Tablet Talk:
Video: Tablet Talk: Tim Kennedy of the Academy of Hockey
A big moment in Sabres history
Yesterday was the anniversary of Gilbert Perreault's 500th NHL goal. We posted this video to Sabres.com yesterday to commemorate the milestone, so if you missed it, here it is again:
Video: Inside the Numbers: Gilbert Perreault's 500th Goal
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