The Buffalo Sabres handed the Washington Capitals their fourth straight loss and increased Buffalo's surprising unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-2 victory Sunday in National Hockey League action.

Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek, and Jochen Hecht scored to lift the Sabres here in Washington.

Rising NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk had a pair of goals and an assist in his Atlanta Thrashers' 5-2 defeat of the host Carolina Hurricanes.

The Colorado Avalanche roughed up the Vancouver Canucks 6-2. Colorado's Milan Hejduk scored 11 seconds after the opening face-off, and Andrew Brunette scored less than four minutes later to give the Avalanche an early lead on their home ice.

In the only other NHL games Sunday, the Might Ducks of Anaheim beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1, and the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning trounced the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.