Many believe it’s only a matter of time before Braden Holtby scores his first NHL goal and on Sunday night against the Buffalo Sabres it nearly happened. Kinda sorta.

With about 7 seconds remaining and the Caps holding a 5-3 lead, Holtby corralled the puck behind his net, took two steps forward, and with Cody Hodgson in hot pursuit, launched a shot toward the empty cage nearly 200 feet away.

Alex Ovechkin, apparently unaware of Holtby’s intentions, gloved the puck in the neutral zone and chipped it into the Buffalo end as the horn sounded to end the game.

Holtby’s attempt at his first professional goal probably would have sailed wide right of the mark but he admitted he was gunning for it.

“I don’t practice that, I practice our breakout passes,” said Holtby, who picked up an assist on a Troy Brouwer goal on Feb. 9. “Every once in a while you try to shoot it down when you’re bored and see if you hit the net.”

Although 10 NHL goalies have been credited with scoring a total of 12 goals in the NHL, six of those goals have been “own” goals that were last touched by the goalie credited. Only five NHL goalies – Ron Hextall [two], Chris Osgood, Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore and Evgeni Nabokov – have shot the puck the length of the ice for goals.