Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

After the Capitals’ somewhat easy 4-1 victory over the Eastern Conference’s best team Wednesday, Nicklas Backstrom spoke to Versus’ Pierre McGuire. In explaining the team’s troubles this year, Backstrom said, “I think we haven’t been working hard enough. Everybody has to commit and do their job, and that’s what we haven’t been doing.”

It’s hard to express optimism that the Caps have finally turned the corner, if they can’t string a couple of solid victories together, and — you know — actually turn the corner. Would they bring the energy again in their second match-up in three games against the Buffalo Sabres, a team who has given the Caps fits all year?

You tell me. Photo recap time!

First photo! After Jason Chimera is slammed face-first into the glass by Mike Weber, the Caps are awarded a power play 27 seconds into the game. Not shown but worth keeping in mind: Chimera returned to the bench really, really mad. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Ovechkin goes for a skate and avoids a hip check on the subsequent power play… (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

And scores! It’s the quickest Caps goal of the season, and a complete role-reversal of Monday’s dreadful game against the Sabres(Photo credit: Nick Wass)

11 minutes later, after a stoppage in play, Chimera skates over to Weber and the two drop the mitts.  Despite the fact Chimmer looks to be suckling here, everyone in the arena got the message that he shouldn’t be messed with. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Oh wait, Ryan Miller didn’t. Time to resort to primitive gestures! (Photo credit: @STLSpidey)

A few minutes later, the chippy play continues as Troy Brouwer fights Christian Ehrhoff. Brouwer’s MMA-style hug (get a room you two) incredibly gives Ehrhoff an upper-body injury. He does not return. The Sabres Twitter account later says Ehrhoff could be out “weeks.”  Brouwer after the game says, “I wouldn’t even put that down as a fight.” Awesome. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

3:52 into the second period, the Capitals score their second goal of the night. Look at Alex Semin hustling.

The tally, Backstrom’s 13th, ties him for the team-lead in goals with Ovechkin and Mr. About-to-be-fined. (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

It was also Backstrom’s 100th career goal. (Photo credit: Ben Guerrero)

After the Sabres dominate the final ten minutes of the second period, Jochen Hecht scores in front of the net to pull Buffalo within one. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

During the intermission, Joe B photobombs Locker. (Photo credit: @skeebs17)

Laughlin finally realizes Joe’s behind him… (Photo credit: @jennrubenstein)

And then notices the hideous dress shirt Joe B’s wearing under his suit of the night. (Photo credit: @jennrubenstein)

Have to have one for the ladies. (Photo credit: Mitchell Layton)

Ovechkin then clinches the victory in the third period. No goalie in the world could stop this.

It’s his second goal of the night and his 14th of the season. Per Neil Greenberg, the Capitals are now 17-2-0 when both Ovi and NB19 score and 16-1-2 (since the 2009-10 season) when Ovi scores twice. (Photo credit: Patrick McDermott)

Two-straight wins! WOOOOOOOOO! (Photo credit: Nick Wass)

That was fun. Photo recaps rule. Well, make sure to go check out the Hershey Bears’ New Years and Outdoor Game jerseys exclusively on our sister site Sweetest Hockey On Earth! We’ll be back tomorrow night for the Caps game in Columbus. See you guys then! (Photo credit: Kyle Mace)

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