The injury occurred with five minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the third period. Perreault was in the offensive zone when he ran into Sabres defensemen Christian Ehrhoff in the corner. Perreault's own stick was pushed into his midsection and he fell on the ground. Perreault did skate for three more shifts before leaving the game for good with what the team deemed an "upper-body injury." The team said he was taken to the hospital for "precautionary reasons." By then, the game was mostly out of reach.
Matt Hendricks' first goal of the season late in the second period and Alex Ovechkin's power play goal midway through the third period made the game look respectable, but the score was not indicative of the Caps' overall effort.
The loss drops the Caps to 6-10-1 on the road. Those 13 points are second-fewest in the Eastern Conference.
Washington will have another chance to redeem themselves against Buffalo Friday at Verizon Center, but before that, they will have to face the New York Rangers Wednesday at home.
Mathieu Perreault's late goal put a dent into the Sabres' lead as the Caps trail 4-1 after 40 minutes.
While Matt Hendricks and Mike Knuble wreaked havoc in the crease, Perreault corralled the loose puck and fired a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Ryan Miller. The unassisted goal cut the Sabres' lead to just three goals.
In more positive news, Washington is actually outshooting Buffalo 14-13. Also, the Caps came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period of Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Niagara Falls isn't too far from where the Washington Capitals are playing Monday, which is apropos because it seems as though they are falling over the edge.
The Buffalo Sabres came out firing as they lead the Caps 4-0 after 20 minutes.
The Sabres took a 1-0 lead just 51 seconds into the game on the power play. With Roman Hamrlik in the penalty box for sending the puck over the glass nine seconds in, Jordan Leopold brought the puck into the offensive zone and passed it up to Drew Stafford, who then crossed it to Jason Pominville. Pominville put the puck past Michal Neuvirth for his 12th goal of the season.
Not even three minutes later, Matt Ellis put Buffalo up 2-0 when he stripped the puck from Karl Alzner on a faceoff in the offensive zone, muscled his way to the net and put his backhand past Neuvirth. Christian Ehrhoff added insult to injury when his point shot eluded Neuvirth for his third goal of the season at 11:15. Tomas Vokoun then relieved Neuvirth after the latter allowed three goals on six shots.
Brayden McNabb pushed Buffalo's lead to 4-0 at 14:14 when Brad Boyes maneuvered around three Washington defenders before dropping the puck to McNabb in the slot.
There was a bit of confusion for Washington Capitals fans in Buffalo on Monday. Tomas Vokoun left the ice first at the team's morning skate, a move that usually indicates he is the starting goalie. However, a few minutes later, it was announced that Michal Neuvirth would instead be the starter for Monday's game against the Sabres.
"I can't really tell you. I don't know what I did wrong to be in this spot," Vokoun said. "I'm a professional hockey player and I don't make decisions who plays, who doesn't. That's not question for me. All I can answer is where I play, how I play and how I felt I did out there and stuff like that. That's pretty much all I can tell you about."
Vokoun has not started in goal since December 13, when he gave up four goals in 21 shots in a blowout Capitals loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.