Dylan Cozens' hat trick gets Sabres past Capitals

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Field Level Media
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Feb 26, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren (79) makes a save as Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) looks for a rebound during the second period at KeyBank Center.
Feb 26, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren (79) makes a save as Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) looks for a rebound during the second period at KeyBank Center.
Image: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Cozens delivered his first career hat trick, and the Buffalo Sabres defeated the visiting Washington Capitals 7-4 on Sunday.

Tage Thompson scored his 40th goal of the season for the Sabres, who have won three straight.

Vinnie Hinostroza had a goal and an assist for Buffalo, while Cozens added an assist for the first four-point game of his career. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves in a game between teams competing for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

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Alex Ovechkin scored his 33rd goal of the season for Washington, which defeated the New York Rangers 6-3 on Saturday to end a six-game losing streak. T.J. Oshie scored his fourth goal in three games and added an assist, and Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist.

Darcy Kuemper started his second game in two days in goal for the Capitals and was lifted after allowing five goals in 19 shots. Charlie Lindgren came on and stopped 16 of 18 shots.

Cozens opened the scoring when he took a pass from Casey Mittelstadt on a two-on-one and beat Kuemper at 10:40 of the first period.

Strome converted a cross-ice pass from Nick Jensen to tie the score, 1-1, at 14:45.

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Thompson intercepted a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the Washington zone and scored glove-side with a wrist shot from the slot at 16:35, but the Capitals tied it 2-2 just 15 seconds later when Oshie scored off the rebound of Strome's shot.

The Sabres took the lead for good at 5:49 of the second period when Mattias Samuelsson's shot got behind Kuemper and Skinner knocked the puck in for his 25th goal.

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Zemgus Girgensons converted a pass across the slot from Kyle Okposo to make it 4-2 at 8:36 of the middle period. Hinostroza slid the puck home to increase the lead to 5-2 at the midway point of the game, ending Kuemper's day.

Cozens got behind the Washington defense and converted a pass from Jack Quinn at 12:49, and the lead was 6-2.

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Washington rallied as Ovechkin knocked in a puck that rebounded off the back wall, and then Sonny Milano scored a breakaway goal on the power play to pull the Capitals within 6-4 at 18:40 of the second period.

The third period was scoreless until Cozens completed his hat trick at 11:52 after Hinostroza found him alone in front of Lindgren.

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--Field Level Media