Gameday Preview – 12/15/2018 – Buffalo Sabres v. Washington Capitals

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.


Buffalo Sabres:

Projected Lineup:

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

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

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.


Washington Capitals:

Projected Lineup:

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

Pheonix Copley

Braden Holtby

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.


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