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Capitals 8, Sabres 3

April 14, 1997

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Rookie Jaroslav Svejkovsky scored four goals, including a pair 52 seconds apart, as the Washington Capitals defeated the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres 8-3 in the teams’ season finale Sunday.

Svejkovsky, the American Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year, finished the season with seven goals. He has played in 19 games for the Capitals this season.

The Capitals, eliminated from the playoffs Saturday by Ottawa’s victory over the Sabres, took a 4-1 lead in a first period that saw Washington outshoot Buffalo 17-5.

Svejkovsky scored his first goal at 17:22 when Buffalo’s Derek Plante and Garry Galley collided at the blue line. Svejkovsky took the puck and broke in alone, beating Steve Shields to the glove side to make it 3-1.

Svejkovsky scored again with 1:46 remaining, knocking in the puck from just outside the goal crease when Shields dropped a Brendan Witt shot.

Buffalo’s Michael Peca opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal 2:37 into the game, taking a clearing pass from his own zone and beating Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig to the glove side.

Peter Bondra tied it at 13:44, beating a sprawling Shields as he cut in front of the net. Andrei Nikolishin made it 2-1 at 16:37 on the power play, tapping in a mishandled save by Shields.

Ken Klee’s third goal of the year made it 5-1 as he wristed a low shot past Shields at 5:48 of the second period.

Wayne Primeau answered with his second goal of the season at 9:15, and Dixon Ward pulled the Sabres within two, to 5-3, at the 10:33 mark. Phil Housley brought the Capitals back to a 6-3 lead with one second left in the period.

Svejkovsky finished his hat trick with a goal off the faceoff at 12:18 of the third period and got his final score on the power play at 16:14.

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