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Cozens hat trick helps lead Buffalo Sabres past Washington Capitals in high-scoring affair

Dylan Cozens -022623
Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 26, 2023

BUFFALO, NY. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Sabres used a strong second period for a 7-4 win over the Washington Capitals this afternoon at the KeyBank Center.

Prior to the game, two big losses plagued the Sabres lineup for this afternoon's matchup. Sabres forward Alex Tuch was placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a lower body injury in Buffalo's prior game against the Florida Panthers.

Then we learned defenseman Rasmus Dahlin would also be a scratch for today's contest and is considered day-to-day moving forward.

So how would the Sabres handle the ensuing change to the lineup today? Well, Dylan Cozens and Tage Thompson were most definitely un-phased as they each notch a goal in the first period. However Washington would equalize each Sabres goal to make it a 2-2 game heading to the first intermission.

Call it the power of the red and black goathead jersey's but Buffalo found their stride in the second period. Goals by Jeff Skinner, Zemgus Girgensons and Vinnie Hinostroza put the team ahead 5-2 and would eventually call for the Capitals to pull starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

But even backup netminder Charlie Lindgren couldn't stop Cozens from scoring his second goal of the day before the period's end.

Washington would stay scrappy towards the end of the second and net two goals before the intermission to dwindle the Buffalo lead to just 6-4.

With a two-goal lead the Buffalo defense did its job along with staring goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in keeping Washington off the scoreboard in the third. Dylan Cozens's third goal of the day in the final period marked his first career hat-trick and the team's 7th hat-trick of the season.

Buffalo would prevail at home 7-4 and move back into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

They'll host Columbus in their next game on Tuesday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. est.