Alex Ovechkin's intended pass turned into the game's first goal as the Caps lead the Sabres 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Ovechkin's 13th goal of the season was intended to be an assist. With the Caps on the power play after Mike Weber boarded Jason Chimera, Ovechkin took a pass from Tomas Vokoun in the defensive zone and barreled down the ice. He cut wide to the right boards and attempted a centering pass to Brooks Laich. The pass, however, deflected off Christian Ehrhoff and past Ryan Miller, who was sliding across the crease in preparation for the shot that never came.
The intensity ratcheted up later in the period when a scrum in front of the net late in the period led to a fight between Chimera and Weber. Soon after, Troy Brouwer wrestled with Ehrhoff.
The Caps dominated play, outshooting the Sabres 11-2.