Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
First the good news for Washington Capital fans. Buffalo's Gil Perreault did not score a goal against your favorite hockey team tonight.
Now the bad news. Four other Sabres did best goalie Gary Smith as Buffalo eased past the Capitals, 5-2, to extend Washington's winless streak to 13 games.
Adding to the misery for the Capitals was the loss of right wing Bill Riley, who suffered a deep gash in the ankle when cut by the Sabre Jim Schoenfeld's skate, in the second period. Riley is expected to be sidelined for 10 days, joining defenseman Rick Green on the injured list.
Perreault, who had three goals and two assists in Buffalo's 7-6 triumph at Washington Saturday night, had to be content tonight with an assist on the Sabre's final score, which came with 11 seconds left in the game.
But for the Caps, stopping Perreault was hardly enough to correct their losing ways, at least on a night when Buffalo goalie Don Edwards was sharp and the Sabres could apply enough pressure to keep Washington botled up in its end most of the time.
"For us to have a chance to win," said Capital coach Tommy McVie, "we have to have good goaltending, we have to withstand their barrage and then we have to take advantages of chances to score. We did everything right but taking advantage of the opportunities."
The chances McVie referred to included Ron Lalonde's wide-open shot in the first period that Edwards handled easily; Dave Forbes' wrist shot that Edwards just knocked away later in the same stanza; Guy Charron's partial breakaway in the second period that was foiled when he missed the net with his shot and, finally, Craig Patrick's clean breakaway in the third period that Edwards saved, the puck rolling up his left arm and just wide of the post.
Buffalo, which leads the Norris Division, didn't come away empty on similar opportunities against Smith, whose goaltending kept the final score respectable.
The Sabres scored on two breakaways. In the second period, Don Luce took the puck away from Gerry Meehan just inside the Sabres' blue line and then skated in on Smith, who came out to cut the angle but couldn't stop the hard shot.
Then, in the game's final minute, Richard Martin steamed up ice and went in alone against Smith, who kicked out his first attempt. But the puck rebounded right to Martin's stick and he didn't miss with his second shot, the goal becoming his second of the game.
Buffalo jumped to a 1-0 lead in the final three seconds of the opening stanza, when Danny Gare took a pass from Luce and beat Smith on the right side.
The Sabres made it 2-0 five minutes into the second when Martin banged in a rebound of Lee Fogolin's hard shot. The score came just after Buffalo had killed a penalty, the first of the game, with the Capitals failing to get off a shot on goal.
In the next three minutes, Buffalo scored twice more, the goals coming from Gary McAdam, his second of the year, and Luce on the breakaway.
The Capitals then prevented a shutout when Bob Sirois picked up a long rebound from Charron's snot and beat Edwards cleanly. Charron wore a mask to protect the nose he broke in Saturday night's game.
Washington drew to within 4-2 in the third period on Bill Collin's goal, which was set up by a fine feed from Forbes.