Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Washington Capitals edged the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Monday night.
Kuznetsov beat Anders Lindback to conclude the first round, and the Capitals prevailed when Philip Varone lost control of the puck on Buffalo's third attempt.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves for Washington and stopped bids from Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson in the shootout.
The Capitals moved within one point of the Detroit Red Wings for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Lindback stopped 35 shots for the Sabres, who have lost seven games in a row (0-5-2).
Despite the loss, Buffalo coach Ted Nolan was pleased with his team's effort.
"They gave us what they had to give and that's all you can ask for," Nolan said.
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin confronted Mike Weber early in the game after a hard hit on Nicklas Backstrom behind the net. Despite punches being thrown, no fighting majors were handed out.
Ovechkin did pick up an extra two minutes, and the Sabres converted on the subsequent power play. Ennis executed a give-and-go pass with Rasmus Ristolainen, playing in his 100th NHL game, and scored on a wrist shot from the slot at the 5:02 mark.
The Capitals tied it on a power play when Curtis Glencross buried a rebound from in close at 9:23 of the first period.
The deadlock lasted only 45 seconds, as Cody Hodgson scored on a fluky backhander. Holtby, coming off a shutout win against Boston on Sunday, made the save, but the puck popped into the air, hit him in the back and went in.
Mike Green tied it on a slap shot from the right circle at 6:09 of the second period. Lindback was out of position after going for a pokecheck on Marcus Johansson as he skated in from the far corner. Johansson appeared to be going for a wraparound attempt but fell behind the net. The puck slid to Green, who blasted it top shelf.
Kuznetsov put the Capitals up 3-2 on a power play at 5:55 of the third period, beating Lindback with a wrister from the high slot.
Johan Larsson tipped a shot by Chad Ruhwedel past Holtby to draw Buffalo even with 6:10 left in regulation. Ruhwedel made his season debut after being called up from AHL Rochester on Monday.
"We just couldn't get rid of them," said Washington coach Barry Trotz.
Buffalo held a lead after the first period for only the 15th time this season ... The last four games between the Capitals and Sabres in Buffalo have been decided beyond regulation ... Washington has won consecutive games in Buffalo for the first time since March 26 and April 12, 2002 ... Tim Schaller picked up his first NHL assist on Hodgson's goal ... Buffalo defensemen Zach Bogosian (lower-body injury) and Andrej Meszaros (upper-body injury) didn't play Monday ... Washington began a three-game road trip.