Sabres start slow in 6-4 loss to Capitals

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner (53) and Washington Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz (2) vie for position during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists in Peter Laviolette’s debut as Washington’s coach and the Capitals opened the season with a 6-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Jakub Vrana stripped Eric Staal of the puck in front of Buffalo’s net and scored 46 seconds into the third period to preserve the win after the Capitals were in jeopardy of squandering a 4-1 lead.

Vrana’s goal came 26 seconds after defenseman Jake McCabe cut Buffalo’s deficit to 4-3 by roofing a shot from the right point.

John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and assist each and Brenden Dillon also scored for the Capitals.

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