Rise of Vitek Vanacek: Caps beat Sabres 2-1 – Russian Machine Never Breaks

With a narrow win on Friday night, the Capitals emerged victorious in the back-to-back season opening series in Buffalo. But this was not quite the commanding performance that had the Caps coasting on Thursday night.

The Caps took took three penalties in the first period, but ably killed them to escape tied. The second period was similarly blah, but Jakub Vrana scored a pretty rush goal to give the Caps the lead.

The Sabres scored on their first shift of the third period, with one of their many Rasmii loosing a wrister from the blue line. Tom Wilson answered back with a wrister to the top shelf from the faceoff dot to restore Washington’s lead.

Caps win!

Two down.

  • Czech goalie Vitek Vanacek made his NHL debut. After two busy periods (including 12 saves in the second), he allowed his first NHL goal — a deflection off Tom Wilson up front. Overall, a darn good first appearance.
  • Meanwhile, no one seemed to like this very good video I toiled for untold minutes to create?
  • Last week, known scoundrel Kevin Klein published a story over at Japers Rink about how the Caps’ penalty woes would soon reverse. The Caps committed five unanswered penalties, three in the first period alone.
  • Great PKs though.
  • Jakub Vrana has two goals in two games, and both have been crackerjacks. I’ve been predicting a big season for the snek, and again I am right in my analysis.
  • Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin was quiet again. His line didn’t dominate possession nearly as much as on Thursday, and Ovechkin had precious few looks.
  • Maybe he’ll get some better chances now that he’s seemingly been reunited with Tom Wilson, assister of Vrana’s goal, scorer of the game-winner, and…
  • Taylor Hall, who again I have to be reminded is a Buffalo Sabre now, took a puck to the face. He returned in the third period with a nasty-looking set of stitches on his lip.

So what’s good? It’s too early for me to say, except for this game, which was bad. The Caps had none of their control from Thursday night, they asked way too much of their rookie goalie, and they committed a ton of penalties. But they got another 🌮, and that’s enough for now.

But I’m expecting some Ovi Shots from the Ovi Spot this weekend.

Next up: the Caps head to Pittsburgh for a nooner with the Penguins.

RMNB Coverage of Caps at Sabres

Headline photo: NHL / Wikimedia Commons / Peter’s good good artwork

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