Final thoughts from HSBC

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Overtime is never a good thing in preseason hockey, but mercifully this one was over quick. Brian Pothier scored a 5-on-3 goal 49 seconds into the extra session to give the Caps a 4-3 victory against the Sabres.

Here’s a few more musings for the night:

* Bruce Boudreau answered an open-ended question about who impressed with praise for:

Semyon Varlamov’s first two periods, the Bourque-Beagle-A. Gordon line, Jeff Schultz, Pothier and Tyler Sloan on defense and Mike Knuble being Mike Knuble. He would also go onto to praise Brendan Morrison and Nicklas Backstrom, and the kid pairing of Karl Alzner and John Carlson.

* Boudreau said Morrison is OK after being checked from behind into the boards late in the third period.

* Backstrom was named the first star (two primary assists). He also won 12-of-19 faceoffs. Morrison won 13-of-19 as well. Buffalo didn’t have Tim Connolly or Paul Gaustad, but the Sabres did have Derek Roy and Jochen Hecht.

* Boudreau said Giroux “isn’t always pretty” but has a sense for finding openings. As long as he keeps converting some of the offensive chances he gets, it might be tough for the Caps to not give him a chance.

* Brooks Laich also singled out some of the same players as Boudreau. He was pretty excited about what Knuble and Morrison are going to add, along with a healthy Brian Pothier (quick poll: Potsie or B-Po as a nickname — not sure either is optimal).

* Karl Alzner said he felt really good, more relaxed on the ice. Also likes playing with John Carlson. 

* Jeff Schultz led the team in TOI at 22:42. Sean Collins was also over 22 and Brian Pothier checked in at 20:03. Backstrom and Laich led the forwards with just under 20 minutes. No player averaged more than 52 seconds per shift.

* Sloan blocked five shots. Beagle had a goal, four shots on net and went 7-for-10 on faceoffs. Steve Pinizzotto “led” the team with two hits (as an illustartion of how poorly some NHL stats are kept, Andrew Gordon was credited with neither a hit or a takeaway for his play to setup Beagle’s goal, even he clearly deserved both).

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