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Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals Meet in Battle of Slumping Squads

January 28th, 2014 at 11:15 AM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Sabres look to end a slump tonight against pretty much the only team against which they've enjoyed any success this season.

The Sabres entertain the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network) , whom Buffalo has beaten both times the teams have played this year in a shooting. A win would give the Sabres a season sweep against the Caps.

'090127 Ovechkin' photo (c) 2009, Dan4th Nicholas - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Sabres lost Monday for the sixth time in seven games, getting shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game snapped Buffalo's six-game streak of scoring at least three goals per game. Buffalo looked out of place often against the Eastern Conference-leading Penguins and mounted no serious threat.

"We're a team that we can't have glaring mistakes," coach Ted Nolan said. "I think it demoralized us for a little bit."

The Caps, meanwhile, snapped a seven-game losing streak Saturday by beating the Montreal Canadiens. The win was only Washington's third since Dec. 29 – a streak into which both losses to Buffalo are incorporated – as the Caps (23-21-8) have sunk to seventh in the Metropolitan Division.

The Sabres expect to once again be without Drew Stafford, who was injured Saturday and didn't play Monday. Alexander Ovechkin (36 goals, 15 assists) returned from a two-game absence due to injury Saturday, scoring a goal and an assist in the Caps' win.

Braden Holtby (14-12-2, 2.90 GAA) is the Caps' No. 1 netminder. The Caps' power play is fourth in the NHL at 22.2 percent but is in a 1-for-23 slump.

Tags: Alexander Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Drew Stafford, Hockey, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ted Nolan, Washington Capitals

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