Buffalo at Washington
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Monday, December 5, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
The Washington Capitals hope to put an end to their three-game winless streak when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. Washington fell to 0-2-1 with Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss at Tampa Bay and hasn't won since posting a 3-1 home victory over the Sabres on Nov. 25.
Captain Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 12 goals but is mired in a four-game drought that began after he registered his 16th career hat trick on Nov. 23 as the Capitals edged St. Louis 4-3. Buffalo is in the midst of a stretch during which it plays six of seven games at home, where it opened the string with a victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday but dropped a 2-1 decision to Boston two days later. Jack Eichel has come back strong from an ankle injury that sidelined him for the Sabres' first 21 games of the season, recording three goals and an assist over his first two contests before being kept off the scoresheet by the Bruins. Brett Connolly had the best offensive game of his first season with Washington in the first matchup against Buffalo, netting a tally and setting up another for two of his three points this campaign.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG-B (Buffalo), CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE SABRES (9-10-5): With Josh Gorges expected to miss an undetermined number of weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his foot, Buffalo hopes to get back another defenseman in the very near future. Dmitry Kulikov skated with the team on Sunday for the first time since Nov. 11 and is day-to-day with a lower-back injury that has sidelined him for 11 games thus far but could return for the Sabres' home contest against Washington on Friday. Brendan Guhle, a 19-year-old blue-liner recalled from juniors on an emergency basis, recorded four shots and a plus-1 rating in 16 minutes, 20 seconds of ice time in his NHL debut on Saturday.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (13-7-3): Washington has scored a total of three goals during its winless streak and netted more than three just once in its last seven contests. The Capitals could stand to receive some secondary scoring as the quartet of Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson (nine), T.J. Oshie (eight) and Nicklas Backstrom (seven) have accounted for 62 percent (36-of-58) of the team's goals this season. Backstrom leads the team with 21 points and has recorded 12 over his last nine contests.
1. Sabres C Sam Reinhart has collected two goals and three assists during his four-game point streak.
2. Washington is 11-0-0 when scoring three or more goals.
3. Buffalo is seeking back-to-back wins away from home after ending a four-game road slide, during which it totaled four goals, with a 5-4 triumph at Ottawa on Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Sabres 1
Stats and Records