WASHINGTON–Adam Oates finally got his first win as a head coach and the Washington Capitals became the last team in the NHL with a victory as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at Verizon Center.
“I’m just glad, finally,” Oates said about his first victory behind the bench. “I was kind of hoping it’d be sooner but I’m glad.”
A big part of the win was staying out of the box, as the Caps only had two penalties on the night and were a perfect two-for-two on the penalty kill.
“Yeah, at least they weren’t coming in clumps, and we didn’t give up a five-on-three, so we’re going in the right direction right now,” Caps forward Troy Brouwer said. “But power play got a good goal. You know, we moved it around pretty well, got some good looks and outside of special teams, we had guys like Wardo [Joel Ward] step it up again tonight. That whole line has been great for us the last couple games.”
The Capitals’ power play goal came from Alex Ovechkin, who finally got his first goal of the season in his fifth game, which is a career long to start the season.
“When he moves his feet, he’s the best player in the world,” forward Jason Chimera said. “That’s what he can do. You could tell through two periods that even though he didn’t have anything he was playing good. You could tell he was on the forecheck, he was getting to guys, he was in the cycle. That’s what we need from him. When he does that, people follow. That’s the name of the game.”
It was also the first time this season the Caps have held a lead for more than three minutes in a game and had some quality ice time playing with the lead.
“It was fun. It was fun,” Chimera said. “Especially when it was 3-1, guys kind of maybe relaxed a little too much on the bench because it was 3-1. you can’t really let up against any team in this league or else they’re going to score some goals. We kind of buckled down after that again. It was nice, definitely better playing with a lead than coming from behind.”
It was a big win for the Caps because they play their next two games on the road — in Canada.
“It feels good,” forward Troy Brouwer said. “Especially to get that first one at home with quite a bit of scrutiny that we’ve had at home so far. It’s – it’s been good. You can see guys finally lightening up a little bit. It would have been nice for Ovi [Ovechkin] to get another one to get his confidence up a little bit, but you know, he played well tonight and he did the right things, which was a big reason why we won.”
Listen here to what Adam Oates, Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Mike Ribeiro, Joel Ward & Michal Neuvirth had to say following the win.
Adam Oates Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Troy Brouwer Postgame Audio
Mike Ribeiro Postgame Audio
Joel Ward Postgame Audio
Michal Neuvirth Postgame Audio
01-27-13 Michal Neuvirth Postgame RAW
Sky Kerstein is a Contributor to District Sports Page. Sky grew up in Chantilly, Virginia and is a 2001 graduate of Chantilly High School. Sky graduated in 2005 from Western Michigan University where he was a communications major. Sky has been the Capitals beat reporter at 106.7 The FAN since the stations switch to sports and has also covered the Redskins, Nationals & Wizards for The FAN. You can follow him on Twitter @SkyKerstein.