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Miller stymies Caps again as Sabres claim SO win to stop road skid

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Cody Hodgson registered the shootout winner, as Buffalo snuck past Washington, 2-1, at Verizon Center.

Five previous shooters failed to produce a marker, until Hodgson made several stick fakes and stuck a wrister high and inside the right post to complete the third round and end the contest.

Tyler Ennis netted a power-play score in regulation for the Sabres, who picked up their first win in the era of new general manager Tim Murray and halted an 11-game road losing skid.

"We want to play on the right side of the puck, and we want to create ourselves an identity," said Sabres head coach Ted Nolan. "What type of team do we want to be? Not a team that plays one way for 20 minutes and then slips off for five."

Ryan Miller made 28 saves and improved to 6-1-1 in his last eight starts. One of the three goaltenders in the running to start for Team USA in Sochi, Miller has saved all nine Washington shootout chances this season.

Jason Chimera netted the lone score for the Capitals, losers in five of their last seven. Philipp Grubauer took the loss despite a 30-save performance.

"You want the points. You want to get points every single time you can because it will bite you later in the year," said Caps head coach Adam Oates about the competitive Metropolitan Division along with the playoff chase. "We wanted two points, no question, but the way the game was going I'm glad we got one."

The Caps picked up the opening goal, as Chimera tipped in a Joel Ward offering in the slot and Sabres center Bryan Flynn accidentally redirected it home at 11:01 of the first.

Ennis evened the score in the early portion of a Buffalo power play, sweeping up a Hodgson rebound and beating Grubauer high from the slot at 18:09.

Caps defenseman Karl Alzner's blast zipped by Miller with 53 seconds left in regulation, but the deafening roar of the goal horn and the capacity crowd was wiped out due to a tripping call against Nicklas Backstrom.

That potential game changer came shortly after Miller dove in his crease and smothered a Mikhail Grabovski chance with his stick.

"That's one of those ones where you're just completely out of options," Miller admitted. "The puck came through traffic, hit me right in the pads instead of the stick and I knew I was in trouble. I saw him kind of reload and get in position. I don't think he got quite all of it and he gave me time to put a plate on it."

Washington killed off the penalty but was unable to generate a quality chance in the extra session.

Game Notes

Despite the setback, Washington has won seven of the last nine home games vs. Buffalo since November of 2009 ... The Sabres' last win away from home was Nov. 5, a 5-4 shootout decision at San Jose ... Ward has earned a point in four consecutive games, tying the longest streak of his career ... Capitals rookie blueliner Connor Carrick picked up his first NHL assist with the secondary helper on Chimera's goal.

01/12 22:26:54 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 24Full Scoreboard
Boston 4/24 8:00 PM ET
Detroit NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FSN-DET
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Boston leads series, 2-1.
Colorado 4/24 9:30 PM ET
Minnesota CNBC, TSN2, Alt, FSN-N,WI
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Colorado leads series, 2-1.
San Jose 4/24 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC, FSN-W, CSN-CA
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. San Jose leads series, 3-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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