Sabres top Caps, keep slim playoff hopes alive

JJ Peterka had two goals and an assist, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the visiting Washington Capitals 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin each had a goal and two assists for the Sabres (36-35-5, 77 points), who are five points behind the Capitals and Detroit Red Wings for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 22 saves in the win.

Martin Fehervary and Dylan Strome scored for the Capitals (36-28-10, 82 points), who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Charlie Lindgren stopped 25 of 31 shots before being lifted in the third period.

The Sabres broke open a one-goal game with three goals in a 2:30 span of the third.

Dahlin made it 4-2 at 3:03, scoring on a slap shot from the point on a power play.

Thompson increased the lead to 5-2 at 4:48, scoring from the slot off a centering pass from Jack Quinn in the right circle.

Tuch made it 6-2 when he converted a cross-ice pass from Thompson at 5:33; and Darcy Kuemper came on to relieve Lindgren.

Fehervary gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 2:46 of the first period when he received a pass from Michael Sgarbossa on the rush and scored on a slap shot from the top of the left circle.

Zemgus Girgensons tied it 1-1 at 15:42 when he deflected Dahlin’s shot from the left circle past Lindgren.

The Sabres took the lead 68 seconds later during a power play. Zach Benson centered the puck from the left circle and Tuch redirected it to Peterka, who scored at 16:50 from a tough angle at the right post.

Buffalo had gone 0-for-18 on the power play over its past seven games.

Peterka increased the lead to 3-1 at 10:54 of the second period. Tuch knocked the puck away from Washington’s Rasmus Sandin and it went to Peterka alone in front and he scored on a high shot for his 28th goal.

Strome pulled the Capitals within 3-2 with 46 seconds left in the period, scoring on the rebound of John Carlson’s shot on a power play.

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