The Washington Capitals found themselves with an early lead, but as quickly as they got it, they lost.
The Buffalo Sabres responded to a 2-0 deficit with two quick goals of their own to tie the game at 2-2 after the first period.
Knuble put the Caps up 1-0 just 37 seconds in. A strong defensive effort by the Caps forced a Buffalo turnover. Alex Ovechkin sent an outlet pass to John Carlson to spring a 2-on-1 rush. Carlson held the puck and fired it on Jhonas Enroth, who stopped the shot, but the puck flew into the air. Knuble was there to put the rebound past a sprawling Enroth for his 22nd goal of the season.
Alexander Semin joined in the scoring at 4:41 in an interesting sequence. Enroth stopped Marco Sturm's shot from the corner, but the rebound landed in the slot. Semin took a whack at it before sending it to Backstrom, who took a shot of his own. The puck hit the post, but Semin was able to get just enough of it on his stick to poke it past Enroth.
Yet, Buffalo did not go down quietly when Jason Pominville redirected a Chris Butler slap shot past Michal Neuvirth at 6:30 to cut Washington's lead to 2-1. Just three minutes later, Drew Stafford got a piece of Brad Boyes' shot and snuck it past Neuvirth to tie the game at 2-2.