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Sabres vs. Capitals preview: The game must go on

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The Sabres first game at home after the holiday break comes against the best team in the league.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game #36

Buffalo Sabres (15-16-4) vs.
Washington Capitals (26-6-2)

Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, SNO, SNW, SNP, CSN-DC | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Capitals Blog: Japers' Rink

Three Questions

1. How will Eichel and O'Reilly follow up their big night against Boston?

The Sabres two best forwards had seven combined points in the game against the B's, and will need to bring another strong effort to help the Sabres take down the best team in the NHL.

2. Can the Sabres deal with Washington's depth?

The Caps are the second highest scoring team in the league with 106 goals, and but their highest individual scorers, Kuznetsov and Backstrom, are tied for 20th in the league. The Caps have eight players with over 20 points as opposed to the Sabres' three, and just in case life wasn't hard enough, they give up the fewest goals in the league. The Sabres will need a total team effort to have a chance tonight.

3. What will happen with Evander Kane tonight?

Kane was held out of practice on Sunday but is expected to play tonight. What type of reaction will he get from the hometown crowd? Will his ongoing investigation prove a distraction to him or his team on the ice? Will we be able to talk about this legal matter in a mature, rational way?

Projected BUF lines

McGinn - R. O'Reilly - Reinhart
Moulson - Eichel - Kane
Girgensons - Larsson - Gionta
Deslauriers - Legwand - Foligno

Gorges - Ristolainen
McCabe - Bogosian
Weber - Franson

Goal: Linus Ullmark

Projected WSH lines

Ovechkin - Backstrom - Oshie
Johansson - Kuznetsov - Williams
Chimera - Beagle - Wilson
Laich - Latta - Burakovsky

Schmidt - Carlson
Alzner - Niskanen
Orlov - Chorney

Goal: Braden Holtby