Linus Ullmark had to be helped to the Buffalo Sabres' bench during his last start in KeyBank Center on Jan. 28.
The 26-year-old goalie stood tall for most of his return Monday night. He received just enough help to snap the Sabres' six-game losing streak.
Ullmark made 33 saves and Dominik Kahun scored the game-winning goal in the seventh shootout round to defeat the Washington Capitals, 3-2.
The Sabres (30-31-8) had scored two or fewer goals in seven straight games and blew a two-goal lead in the third period.
Victor Olofsson scored his first goal in nine games for a 1-0 lead, and Jack Eichel snapped a career-high seven-game point drought with his power-play goal in the second period.
Ullmark served as the Sabres' backup Saturday night in Philadelphia, but he had not played a game since suffering a lower-body injury during the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. He stopped the first 20 shots he faced against the Capitals before Alex Ovechkin cut Washington's deficit to 2-1 early in the third period, and Dmitry Orlov tied the game with 6:49 remaining in regulation.
The Capitals (41-20-8) scored 25 goals over their previous six games and are first in the Metropolitan Division.
20 club: Olofsson became the 16th player in franchise history to score 20 goals during his rookie season, and he is the first to accomplish the feat since Eichel and Sam Reinhart in 2015-16.
Olofsson scored on a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot at 4:53 into the first period. The goal occurred moments after Kahun's shot from the slot was stopped by Washington goalie Braden Holtby.
Better start: The Sabres led 1-0 at the end of the first period, a remarkable improvement from their four-goal deficit through 20 minutes in Washington on Nov. 1. Entering Monday, the Sabres were 12-5-1 when leading after the first period, while the Capitals were 11-12-2 when trailing after the first.
Drought over: Eichel snapped his pointless streak by scoring his 36th goal of the season for a 2-0 Sabres lead only 53 seconds into the second period. Holtby froze at the left post when a pass went to Rasmus Dahlin, who sent the puck back to Eichel.
The goal occurred on the power play, snapping the Sabres' 0-for-17 slump.
Progress: With his 36th assist in his 59th game of the season, Dahlin surpassed his total from his 82-game rookie season. It also put Dahlin four points away from tying his total from 2018-19.
Sharp: Ullmark was sharp during the second period, as illustrated by his shoulder save on Evgeny Kuznetsov off a Capitals faceoff win with 9:56 remaining. Ullmark then stopped Nick Jensen's backhanded shot from near the crease later in the period.
Entering Monday, the Sabres were 22-1 when leading after two periods. The Capitals were 9-17-1 when trailing in that situation.
Costly defeat: Ovechkin scored his 48th goal of the season to cut the Capitals' deficit to 2-1 with 16:27 remaining in the third period. Ovechkin collected the puck after Johan Larsson lost the defensive-zone faceoff and beat Ullmark with a shot from the slot.
Difficult bounce: Orlov tied the score in the third period when his shot went off Brandon Montour's stick and ricocheted off Rasmus Ristolainen's skate before going into the net.
Called off: Montour appeared to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead with 2:42 remaining when his shot from the slot went in. However, it was ruled no goal because of goalie interference.
Milestones: Sabres forwards Kyle Okposo and Reinhart played their 800th and 400th NHL games, respectively.
Lineup: Defenseman Lawrence Pilut and winger Michael Frolik were healthy scratches for the Sabres. An illness made Pilut unavailable to play Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Attendance: The Sabres announced that 16,539 tickets were sold for the game against Washington.
Roster move: Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be part of an ECHL playoff run after he was assigned by the Rochester Americans to the Cincinnati Cyclones on Monday. Luukkonen, 21, went 3-4-3 with an .874 save percentage for the Amerks, but he was no longer needed after Jonas Johansson rejoined the team.
Next: The Sabres are scheduled to practice Tuesday and will face the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday night.