Buffalo Sabres (6-2-2, 14PTS) vs. Washington Capitals (5-3-1, 11PTS)
7:00 PM EST, HSBC Arena
TV: MSG-B (Buffalo)
Radio: WGR 550 (Buffalo), XM-206 (National)
After a hot start the Sabres have now become a desperate team. They have played their worst two games of the season this week at home and are hoping to change that trend before heading on the road next Monday. The locker room on Thursday night was reminiscent of the locker room last season, Ryan Miller was tossing blame on his defense, Jason Pominville was talking about simplifying the game and Thomas Vanek said "we just have to be better". It's hard to argue with any of those takes on this team.
Lindy Ruff has decided to shake up the lines and Andrew Peters will be in the press box for the first time this season. Tim Connolly is expected to make his season debut and will center a line with MacArthur and Pominville. If Timmy is the Timmy we all know, that could be a potentially deadly line. Of course that means that Daniel Paille will no longer be on that line and will now play the wing on the fourth line with Paul Gaustad and Patrick Kaleta. Drew Stafford has been largely ineffective this season and it hasn't gone unnoticed, he will now be on the third line with Adam Mair and Max Afinogenov. Ales Kotalik will move to a line with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek in hopes of sparking some offense. On paper it looks like four solid lines but we'll have to see it on the ice.
It's another game against a Souteast Division opponent and the Sabres have not fared well against that division. They lost in a shootout to Atlanta after coming back from a two goal deficit and of course they looked awful against the Lightning on Thursday.
The Capitals will be without their superstar Alex Ovechkin who is still in Russia because of an illness to his grandfather. I'm not sure how many are with me on this but I really wish he was playing. Ovechkin is one of the best players in the league and he is extremely fun to watch.
Of course we hope you will join us in the opne thread on Saturday night and don't forget to get your SPG picks in. If you haven't signed up yet head over and do it now because there is now an opportunity to win prizes.