Drury scored twice and added two assists, sparking a six-goal first period in Buffalo's 6-3 win over the Capitals on Tuesday night. It was a satisfying blowout for the Sabres after Ovechkin levelled Buffalo co-captain Daniel Briere with a blind-side hit when the teams last met in Washington's 7-4 win on Dec. 2. The Sabres didn't forget, either.
"Most of all we were concerned about getting back at their team in general. They took it to us pretty good in Washington," Drury said. "We were extremely motivated."
It was much more personal for Briere, who tumbled headfirst into the boards but escaped serious injury after getting nailed by Washington's star forward. Even though Ovechkin was ejected from the game, the Sabres were unhappy that the NHL did not suspend him for being reckless.
"I know I was pretty excited in the first period the way we came out swinging," Briere said. "To be honest with you, it's a lot more fun coming out like that and showing them how we played than going out there and trying to get into a fight."
Ovechkin did score Tuesday, cutting the Sabres' lead to 6-2 late in the second period. But even he was impressed by how Buffalo opened with six goals on nine shots.
"They shoot, they score. They shoot, they score. It was like some magic," Ovechkin said.
Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists, Maxim Afinogenov and Thomas Vanek added a goal and assist each and Brian Campbell also scored for Buffalo, which upped its league-leading total to 144 goals.
The game was decided before it was 11 minutes old. That's when Vanek, from the right circle, banked a wrister in off Capitals defender Brian Pothier in front with 9:03 left in the first period.
Buffalo scored four times in a 5:39 span, including two goals 15 seconds apart, and six in a span of 9:06. Remarkably, the six-goal first period wasn't even a season best for the Sabres, who scored seven times in a 7-2 win over Tampa Bay on Nov. 20.
The Sabres (26-7-3) improved to 2-2-1 in their past five games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Chris Clark and Kris Beech also scored for the Capitals (16-13-7), who had a four-game road winning streak snapped, while opening a stretch of four games in five nights.
All eyes were on Ovechkin, though, who was booed every time he stepped on the ice and then incensed the sellout crowd further when he put his hand to his ear after he scored.
"It's OK," he said about being jeered. "I like when fans do that because I get emotional."
Sabres goalie Ryan Miller wished he could have stopped Ovechkin's snap shot that beat him over the left shoulder. Miller, though, didn't mind the player's celebration.
"He's a proud kid. The fans have been on him all night and he has to say something back and that's the only way he can do it," Miller said. "To each his own."
Olaf Kolzig prevented a blowout, allowing two goals on 33 shots, in replacing Capitals starter Brent Johnson, who was chased after allowing four goals on six shots.
Johnson shattered his stick across the crossbar and heaved what was left of his shaft down the ice as he left the game. He then threw his mask down the hallway leading to the team's dressing room, and spent the rest of the game standing at the team's bench with his hands on his hips.
Notes: Drury's four-point game matched a career high, and his 19 goals tie him for the team lead with Vanek. ... Capitals RW Jonas Johansson was a healthy scratch after being called up earlier in the day. The rookie has five goals and 13 assists in 28 games with Hershey of the AHL. ... The Capitals were attempting to win five straight on the road for the first time since March 2001.