Ilya Kovalchuk provided three points, including the game-winning goal, in the Capitals 7-2 blowout of the Buffalo Sabres in Monday's NHL 20 simulated game.
Result: Caps 7, Sabres 2
1-0 Caps goal: Nick Jensen from Dmitry Orlov and Braden Holtby
2-0 Caps goal: Garnet Hathaway from Radko Gudas and Nic Dowd
2-1 Sabres goal: Henri Jokiharju from Jake McCabe and Jack Eichel
2-2 Sabres goal: Wayne Simmonds from Jeff Skinner and Curtis Lazar
3-2 Caps goal: Ilya Kovalchuk from Lars Eller
4-2 Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Michal Kempny
5-2 Caps goal: Nic Dowd from Ilya Kovalchuk and Nick Jensen
6-2 Caps goal: Richard Panik from Nic Dowd and John Carlson
7-2 Caps goal: Lars Eller from Ilya Kovalchuk
How the Caps won
1. The first period tiebreaker
Scoring two early goals in the first period doesn't matter all that much if you give two goals right back. Jensen and Hathaway gave Washington the 2-0 lead, but Buffalo struck right back with Jokiharju and Simmonds. The difference was that Kovalchuk was able to break the tie late in the first, which not only sparked him for a big night, but the entire team as well.
The Sabres would not score the rest of the game and Kovalchuk's first period tally proved to be the game-winner.
2. The second period
Kovalchuk made sure the Caps held a one-goal lead heading into the second period and that is when Washington took control.
The Caps scored three unanswered goals in the middle frame to break the game wide open. Ovechkin snapped a short goal drought with a brutal wrister to beat Carter Hutton. Soon after, Dowd made it 5-2 as he crashed the net and Kovalchuk put the puck right on his stick on the doorstep. Dowd then provided an assist of his own setting up Panik for a one-timer.
3. Ilya Kovalchuk
This was his best game as a Cap. Not only did Kovalchuk provide the game-winning goal, he also provided two assists, was great with the puck on his stick, played a physical game and contributed just a dominant overall performance. One of his assists was to Eller who scored to make it 7-2. Somewhere, Brad Marchand must be very upset.
The Caps were scheduled to play the Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Tuesday. The game will be simulated with NHL 20 on NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m.
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