It was more of the same for Alex Ovechkin, and also the Buffalo Sabres, in the Washington Capitals’ 6-0 win on Monday.
Ovechkin ties Esposito with 717th goal
For Alex Ovechkin, it was about piling up more milestones. By scoring the 717th regular-season goal of his career, Ovechkin is now tied with Phil Esposito for sixth all-time in NHL history.
This didn’t come from “Ovechkin’s office,” but it felt like an appropriate way to reach 717:
717 CAREER GOALS! @ovi8 ties Phil Esposito for 6th on the all-time goals list! pic.twitter.com/D9cfiJMOXv
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 16, 2021
Ovechkin is now 14 goals behind Marcel Dionne, who sits in fifth place.
- Wayne Gretzky: 894 goals
- Gordie Howe: 801
- Jaromir Jagr: 766
- Brett Hull: 741
- Marcel Dionne: 731
- Alex Ovechkin, Phil Esposito: 717
Dark times for Buffalo Sabres
For the Buffalo Sabres, Monday represented another humiliation. We’ll leave it to long-suffering Sabres fans if this represents a new low. (Unfortunately, they’ve been building up a lot of experience with those lows lately.)
Being a footnote as Alex Ovechkin rewrites history already wouldn’t be great. To some extent, that wasn’t even the most miserable Ovechkin-related Sabres clip of the night, either.
Watch as treasured defenseman Rasmus Dahlin looks lost against Ovechkin, not his only rough moment of the night.
Ovechkin puts the puck through Dahlin's leg – Hutton makes the save #LetsGoBuffalo #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/3aLZXRdKC6
— Buffalo Hockey moments (@SabresPlays) March 15, 2021
But, hey, it happens. Especially when you’re trying to contain Alex Ovechkin.
Either way, this was a hopeless effort for a sputtering Sabres squad. Allowing Ovechkin to tie Esposito is just part of the Sabres making some dubious history.
Including tonight's 6-0 loss to Washington, the @BuffaloSabres have been shut out in four of their last five home games. The only other #NHL team in the last 90 years to be held scoreless four times in a span of five home games within a single season was the Flames in 2013-14.
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) March 16, 2021
Overall, the Sabres lost their 11th game in a row, while the Capitals are now on a five-game winning streak.
“It feels like we’re in a very deep, dark place right now, and the only way we get into any light is keeping the fight in the team and sticking together,” Ralph Krueger said, via The Athletic’s John Vogl. “We’re not going to get any outside help or pity. This division is ruthless.”
Considering how lost the Sabres look, are we sure that Krueger is the one who can find some answers?
Kyle Okposo: "It's not easy right now. It's not easy.This is not an easy situation. Guys care. It's just not happening right now.I don't know how else to put it. It's tough. We're in a really tough spot here.Guys are trying and it's just not working.I don't know what else to say"
— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) March 16, 2021
Truly, is there any better reaction than “Yikes?”
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.