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Sabres set to host Caps

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Capitals Perspective : Japers Rink

It seems like just yesterday that the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals were taking the ice.  Reality is that it was Friday night in Washington.  This time the two teams are set to take the ice at the HSBC Arena.  That isn't necessarily good news for the Sabres because they seem to struggle against good teams at home.  The Sabres did beat the Capitals 5-0 at the HSBC Arena on November 1 but Alex Ovechkin was not in the lineup that night for the Caps.

There were plenty of people that were upset with the Sabres decision to send Tim Kennedy back to Portland.  They were wondering how playing Andrew Peters would help the team more than playing a kid that has offensive talent and adds something this team has been lacking.  We may have our answer with the possible return of Paul Gaustad.

There is no denying what Gaustad brings to this team when he is in the lineup.  He gives the Sabres a legitimit face-off guy in addition to the leadership he displays on the ice.  Since the departure of Drury and Briere face-offs have been a concern for the Sabres.  Connolly has become much better but he is never in the lineup, Derek Roy has improved his craft considerably but the Sabres are forced to rely on Jochen Hecht and Adam Mair too often.  Face-offs are a huge component of the game and Goose makes the Sabres immediately better if he can play.

Although Kaleta and Gerbe are both starting to practice they aren't quite ready to return to the lineup which means the only lineup change will be Peters or Gaustad in the lineup to replace Kennedy.

{Update}:  Gerbe is ready and he and Gaustad will both be in the lineup tonight.  It looks like Peters and Afinogenov will be scratched.  I'll be surprised if Max is on the team much longer.  I think they have made it clear that he is nothing more than an extra Forward on this team.  Start posting your trade scenarios now because I don't expect him here more than another two weeks.

Bad news for Kaleta...he is going to be out for quite awhile.

Instead of waiting till the Game Thread I will post the starting Goalies in this post since both teams have already made the announcement.

Starting Goalies


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Ryan Miller 29 1696 15 9 4 2 74 2.62 829 755 .911 3


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Jose Theodore 21 1167 11 6 1 1 61 3.14 536 475 .886 1