Ovechkin matches Esposito with 717th goal; Caps rout Sabres
Ovechkin matched Phil Esposito for sixth on the NHL list with his 717th goal and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-0 on Monday night. Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots for his first NHL shutout and improved to 4-0-1 against the Sabres. Backstrom’s 11th goal of the season came in his 984th game with the Capitals, passing Calle Johansson for second-most games in franchise history. Hutton made 24 saves for Buffalo, which is 0-9-2 in its past 11 games, the third-longest skid in team history. AdThe Sabres recalled center Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad and sent defenseman Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad.
Eichel scores in shootout, Sabres beat Devils 4-3
Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) carries the puck past New Jersey Devils forward Yegor Sharangovich (17) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jack Eichel scored in a shootout, Linus Ullmark made 31 saves and the Buffalo Sabres beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Saturday. Victor Olofsson, Tobias Rieder and Eric Staal also scored to help the Sabres improve to 3-0-2 in their past five games. AdJanne Kuokkanen, Ty Smith and Andreas Johnsson scored for New Jersey in former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff’s first trip to Buffalo since taking over the Devils this offseason. Buffalo’s top free-agent acquisition assisted on two goals, tying Eichel for the team lead with nine points in eight games. RUFF’S RETURNRuff served as a Rangers assistant and Stars head coach since being fired by the Sabres in 2013.
NHL teams making moves, not waiting for top free agents
A handful of the top free agents are still available, but NHL teams aren't waiting for those big fish to sign to make other moves. Koivu signed for $1.5 million for next season, and they need to re-up top center Pierre-Luc Dubois and other restricted free agents. Teams have to move money, and in order to move money, they might have to move some really good players.”Some good free agents found new homes Saturday. The Buffalo Sabres signed center Cody Eakin to a $4.5 million, two-year contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. Buffalo later Saturday signed defenseman Brandon Montour to a $3.85 million, one-year deal.