Capitals dealing with adversity, beat Sabres on Friday

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Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd (26) celebrates his goal with defenseman John Carlson (74), left wing Jakub Vrana (13) and right wing Garnet Hathaway (21) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Despite being without four key players who are on the league’s COVID-19 list – Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Samsonov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dimitry Orlov – the Capitals were able to pull out a win Friday night.

“It’s adversity and sometimes when you’re faced with adversity those are the sweetest wins,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “Those are the ones where you have to overcome some obstacles, so we felt good about the lineup, we certainly missed the guys that aren’t in there, but we felt good about the lineup, a very good hard fought win for us.”

It took a shootout, but John Carlson scored the game winner and goalie Vitek Vanicek stopped all four shootout shots he faced.

With a 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo, Washington improved to 3-0-2. The Caps will face the Sabres again for a 3 p.m. puck drop.

“You know sometimes you can’t do anything about things happening,” forward Jakub Vrana said. “You know we came out there today and didn’t think too much and didn’t think too much, we wanted to go out there and work as hard as we could. We played a good game and now it’s the time to prepare for Sunday.”

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