Capitals

Quick Links

Edmonton gives someone else a chance as Tornoto wins NHL Draft Lottery

Edmonton gives someone else a chance as Tornoto wins NHL Draft Lottery

Sorry conspiracy theorists, the Edmonton Oilers did not win the draft lottery. Instead it was the Toronto Maple Leafs who will be picking first in June after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.

The Leafs had the best odds to win after finishing the regular season with the NHL's worst record. Behind them will be Winnipeg who jumped up to second.

Here is the full draft order:

1. Toronto
2. Winnipeg
3. Columbus
4. Edmonton
5. Vancouver
6. Calgary
7. Arizona
8. Buffalo
9. Montreal
10. Colorado
11. New Jersey
12. Ottawa
13. Carolina
14. Boston

Five of the top six picks in the draft are now held by Canadian teams.

By winning the lottery, the Maple Leafs will have the option of drafting forward Auston Matthews who is widely considered to be the top prospect in the draft. The irony of an American prospect going first overall to the biggest market in Canada should not be lost on anyone.

Edmonton finished the season with the second-worst record in the NHL, but did not win an unprecedented fifth time in seven years. The Oilers instead fell to No. 4 in the draft.

The NHL Draft will take place in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.

RELATED: CAPITALS' GAME PLAN IN GAME 2: BANG LETANG

Quick Links

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

usatsi_10653861.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons the Caps beat the Sabres

The Caps could not shake Buffalo for two periods, but a dominant finish on Saturday helped them pull away for a 5-1 win. Here's how they finally put away the Sabres.​

A quick start

Strong stars go a long way towards helping a team in the middle of a slump. It's a confidence boost for a team in desperate need of one and the Caps got that boost on Saturday from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov used his wheels to zip in behind the defense and score just 50 seconds into the game. Washington led 1-0 at the end of the first, just the second time in 19 games they have held a lead after the first.

Andre Burakovsky snapping second period slump

It looked in the second period like the Caps were caught trying to protect the lead again, but Andre Burakovsky woke the team back up with his incredible highlight end-to-end goal. It really looked like Buffalo was going to tie the game at one, but instead, Burakovsky extended the lead to two. Going end to end the way he did shows a player who is starting to play with some confidence, something Burakovsky has lacked at points this season.

Ovechkin's two-goal third period

Buffalo just would not go away. Sam Reinhart got the Sabres on the board just 14 seconds into the third period and suddenly the Caps found themselves in a one-goal game again. But Ovechkin ended any hopes for the comeback as he struck in the top corner of the net on the power play form the office. He would later add a deflection goal late to extend the lead to 5-1, giving a scuffling Washington team the dominant win they so sorely needed.

Quick Links

3 stars of the game: Caps erupt in 3rd for dominant win over Sabres

usatsi_10652847.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Caps erupt in 3rd for dominant win over Sabres

The Capitals needed a win in the worst way and they got one, dispatching the Buffalo Sabres in dominating fashion with a 5-1 win.

Washington was locked in a tight game leading 2-0 heading into the third period when Sam Reinhart scored just 14 seconds into the period. The Caps then slammed the door shut, scoring three unanswered goals to put away the Sabres.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Alex Ovechkin: This was career game No. 983 for Ovechkin, tying him for the franchise record for most games played with Calle Johansson. Ovechkin very fittingly celebrated the occasion with two goals. The first was a power play goal from the office. No need for a one-timer on this one, as the Sabres gave him all the time he needed to aim up the shot and wrist it into the top corner. He added a late 

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: To say the Caps have struggled at the start of games would be an understatement. In the last 18 games, Washington has held the lead after the first period only once. Kuznetsov made sure this game started off on the right foot as he scored just 50 seconds into the game. He turned on the jets in the neutral zone to turn the edge on Jason Pominville then easily skated around a weak, ill-advised challenge from Robin Lehner before flinging the puck into the yawning net. It was the fastest goal to start a game by the Caps this season. It was just the start of what would be a four-point night for the Caps' center as he added three assists.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky had the highlight of the game with his end-to-end goal in the second period to put Washington up 2-0. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he launched himself from the defensive zone, streaked down the center of the ice and in on net to slide the puck through the Lehner's five-hole. Look how Burakovsky was able to slice through the Sabres' defense. Buffalo had him surrounded, but could not slow him down at all.