NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 27th (All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (13-18-3-1) at Washington Capitals (11-20-3-1), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres begin a two-game road trip in D.C. this evening, when they take on the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center.
Buffalo is 1-0-1 in its last two after posting a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Friday. All four goals in the game were scored in the third period, as Ales Kotalik, Taylor Pyatt and Chris Taylor each lit the lamp for the Sabres.
Kotalik opened the scoring 3:09 into the third period with his ninth goal of the season for the Sabres. While on the power play, Kotalik found the back of the net on a slap shot from the left circle.
Pyatt extended the Buffalo lead to 2-0 with a tap-in at 12:14. Taylor capped off the scoring and sealed the victory for Buffalo with an empty-net tally with just 34 seconds to play.
Mika Noronen made 30 saves for the Sabres, who halted an eight-game winless streak.
The Sabres' leading scorer, J.P. Dumont, left the game in the first period with a right hip injury. Dumont is listed as questionable for this contest.
The Capitals are coming off a dramatic victory over the Canadiens on Tuesday. Peter Bondra scored the winning goal with 54 seconds remaining to lift Washington to a 3-2 victory over Montreal at the MCI Center.
Olaf Kolzig made 38 saves for the Capitals, who won for just the second time in their last eight home games (2-4-1-1). Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist for Washington.
Bondra scored the game-winner on a rebound off a Dwayne Zinger slap shot from the blue line. Zinger got credit for an assist on the play for the first point of his NHL career.
It was just the Caps' third win in their last 10 contests overall (3-5-2).
Six of the last eight meetings have been decided by one goal, but Buffalo picked up a 5-2 home victory in the only matchup this season. That win on November 26 snapped a three-game series losing streak for the Sabres.
However, Washington has taken five of the last seven matchups.
12/27 10:17:21 ET