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Preseason Game 1: Capitals vs. Sabres Preview

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Tonight is the start of the seven month journey known as the NHL season.  While tonight's game won't matter in the standings and nothing stays on the scoresheet, it does give the coaching staff a chance to see who is ready for the season and who isn't.  For those heading down to the arena for the game tonight, Mike Harrington gives the roster for the game here

We will see Lalime and Enroth in net for the Sabres tonight while Semyon Varlamov will play part of the game for the Capitals.  This game is more for the prospects and that is why you will see Gerbe, Kennedy, Gragnani, Kostka and others in the lineup while the rest sit.  For a good look at possible line combinations, Vance has them all broken down.  It will be interesting to see how Gerbe and Kennedy play tonight as this is their first real chance at cracking the lineup after spending most their rookie season in Portland.  Gerbe is one of those players that all the fans clamour for based on skill alone but how he plays in these preseason games will show how much he has matured in the past season. 

For the Capitals, it is mainly a showcase for the prospects due to the fact that many of their heavy hitters are not in the lineup.  One of the players that has something to prove tonight is Semyon Varlamov who is coming off a fantastic playoffs.  Varlamov needs to show now that he can adapt and play most of a full season and if he is still playing well may be able to challenge Jose Theodore for the starting spot when opening day comes around.

Game time is 7pm at HSBC Arena and will only be found on the radio.