BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres, behind a Sam Reinhart hat trick, beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Reinhart scored one goal in the first period and two in the third period to put the game away. Jason Pominville and Rasmus Dahlin also scored in the win. Jack Eichel tallied two assists.
Buffalo jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind Pominville and Reinhart goals. Alex Ovechkin scored his 44th goal to cut the score to 2-1 in the second, but with 31 seconds left in the period, Dahlin put the biscuit in the basket to move Buffalo back in front by two.
Pominville opened the scoring with a backhand goal on a feed from Jeff Skinner. Reinhart’s first goal was a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that rattled off the post and slipped past goalie Brian Holtby.
Dahlin’s second period goal was a power play one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle on a nice feed from Eichel.
Reinhart’s second goal was a redirect of a point-blank blast by Matt Hunwick. That put Buffalo up 4-2. Reinhart’s third career hat trick came from an empty net tally from deep in his own zone.
Carter Hutton stopped 31 of 33 shots in net for the Sabres, while Brian Holtby made 33 saves against 37 shots.
The Sabres are fifth in the Atlantic Division with 66 points, four ahead of Florida and seven behind the Montreal Canadians. The Sabres are six points behind Carolina for the final wild car spot and 10th in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo travels to Toronto to battle the Maple Leafs Monday at 7 p.m.