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Alex Ovechkin scores 1st goal of season as Capitals get 1st win, beating Sabres 3-2

  • aa64754246bbd403270f6a706700acf1.jpg

    Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) celebrates his goal with teammate Mike Green (52) as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (3) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (The Associated Press)

  • ff70e31946c2d403270f6a70670023ce.jpg

    Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) celebrates his goal with teammate Mike Green (52) as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jordan Leopold (3) looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (The Associated Press)

  • 63623a5046c4d403270f6a7067004a71.jpg

    Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) celebrates his goal with teammate Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford (21) against the Washington Capitals during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass) (The Associated Press)

Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season Sunday, and the Washington Capitals became the last NHL team to get a win, beating the Buffalo Sabres 3-2.

After a fruitless first week, Ovechkin found the net with a one-timer from the left circle on a power play with 14:49 remaining in the game. Then came the familiar celebration that had been missing thus far in this shortened season: the former two-time league MVP unleashing a downward fist pump with left knee bent, then collecting a row of high-fives as he skated along the Capitals bench.

Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, John Erskine also scored, and Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves for the Capitals, who had opened with four consecutive losses for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The sluggish start led players and new coach Adam Oates to openly question the team's work ethic.

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP