WASHINGTON — Lower than per week after dropping in a shootout, the Buffalo Sabres will search a measure of revenge Friday after they return to D.C. to face the Washington Capitals.
In that Four-Three defeat on Dec. 15, Buffalo could not determine a solution to sluggish Alexander Ovechkin, who netted the tying aim and registered the shootout winner. Stopping the Capitals’ veteran would once more appear to be the first aim for Buffalo, which is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Panthers wherein they misplaced for the primary time all season when main after two durations.
“I actually appreciated the best way our guys performed,” Sabres coach Phil Housley informed reporters after observe Thursday in regards to the current assembly with Washington. “Clearly, that is an excellent workforce, a bodily workforce, a heavy workforce. However we performed them with velocity and tempo. We had a chance to win a sport and that breeds confidence inside our group.”
Buffalo continues to battle by accidents, with defenseman Jake McCabe and Lawrence Pilut returning to the ice for observe Thursday, although their standing stays unclear for Friday. Winger Jason Pominville left the Panthers sport after an on-ice collision, and Housley mentioned his standing was “day-to-day.”
As well as, Buffalo introduced Wednesday that middle Patrik Berglund was positioned on unconditional waivers with the intent to terminate his contract. The veteran, who was having a disappointing season, was indefinitely suspended when he did not present up for the Sabres’ flight to Washington final week.
“I am not going to touch upon that,” Housley mentioned. “It is an unlucky scenario, however we’re targeted on the blokes in that room.”
The Capitals are coming off a hard-fought, 2-1 loss to rival Pittsburgh on Wednesday that ended their five-game profitable streak. However Washington’s gamers felt like they did sufficient within the loss to hold some constructive momentum into the sport in opposition to Buffalo.
“We have performed some good hockey right here, a superb stretch,” ahead Tom Wilson informed reporters. “We’ll regroup right here and get again after it.”
Ovechkin noticed his 14-game level streak come to finish within the loss to Pittsburgh, however in 46 video games in opposition to Buffalo, he has 47 factors, together with 30 objectives. And with Wilson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom all having stable years, the Sabres are conscious of the hazards when going through the Capitals.
“They’re so expert over there — they’ve so many good gamers,” Buffalo’s Jack Eichel informed the workforce’s web site. “They generate a variety of actually grade-A possibilities and so they play nicely collectively.”
Washington doubtless will go together with starter Braden Holtby between the pipes as they head towards the vacation break. He’s Eight-Three-Zero since Nov. 19.
“For us, transferring ahead, we’ll push into these closing two video games earlier than we get a much-needed break,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden informed reporters. “I like a variety of issues we have performed. I wish to win each single sport, and we have been doing a superb job of attempting to win most of them.”