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Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season and it proved to be the game-winner asWashington finally got into the win column with a 3-2 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.

Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, while John Erskine also lit the lamp for theCapitals, who got their first win of the season in five games and the first win for head coach Adam Oates. Michal Neuvirth turned aside 22 shots.

Washington avoided losing five games to start the season for the first time since going 0-6-0 to begin the 1993-94 campaign.

Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno each lit the lamp for the Sabres,who have dropped three straight after opening the campaign with two wins. Ryan Miller gave up all three goals on 30 shots in the loss.

Buffalo leading scorer Thomas Vanek say out the game with a muscle strain that caused him to leave Friday's loss to Carolina.

Click here for a photo gallery from Sunday's Sabres Caps game.