Buffalo Sabres (19-9-4 42pts) v. Washington Capitals (19-9-3 41pts)
Time: 7p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington and MSG Buffalo
The Washington Capitals return home to finish off their back to back as they face the much improved Buffalo Sabres. The Capitals will look to win their fifth straight game, and do so in a much more better effort than they did last night against the Carolina Hurricanes where they won in the shootout.
Jeff Skinner — Jack Eichel — Sam Reinhart
Conor Sheary — Casey Mittelstadt — Kyle Okposo
Tage Thompson — Vladimir Sobotka — Jason Pominville
Evan Rodrigues — Johan Larsson — Zemgus Girgensons
Lawrence Pilut — Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin — Zach Bogosian
Nathan Beaulieu — Matt Tennyson
Scratched: Remi Elie
Injured: Marco Scandella (upper body), Jake McCabe (lower body), Casey Nelson (upper body), Scott Wilson (ankle), Matt Hunwick (neck)
Keys to the Game:
1. Control the tempo
The Sabres have the luxury of not having to have played last night, so they will want to go into this game and control the tempo of it right off the bat.
Alex Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly — Lars Eller — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin — Nic Dowd — Travis Boyd
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Jonas Siegenthaler — Madison Bowey
Scratched: Andre Burakovsky*, Chandler Stephenson, Tyler Lewington
Injured: Christian Djoos (leg), Brooks Orpik (knee)
* Andre Burakovsky is rumored to be in the lineup tonight, but it is unknown as to who will come out for him to replace.
Keys to the Game:
1. Play a full 60 minutes
Last night the Capitals were outplayed and did not control the tempo very well, and going into tonight’s game, the Capitals will need to do that. The Buffalo Sabres are a much improved team and will be wanting to prove themselves against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Capitals have to be ready to play the full 60.
2. Special teams needs to improve
The Capitals need to stay out of the penalty box. Last night they took 6 penalties and the Carolina Hurricanes scored on three of them. The Capitals need to generate more powerplay opportunities for themselves as well, but with their powerplay they need to mix it up a bit. Get Tom Wilson out there a bit more, as he will create space on the powerplay. Also the Capitals need to get their penalty killing figured out. How they have performed lately is not acceptable.