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Preview: Sabres look to rebound against Capitals, after tough loss

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Buffalo’s most recent game was a major letdown. Can they turn things around and get back in the win column?

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game 36

Buffalo Sabres (20-10-5) vs Washington Capitals (20-10-3)

Season Series:

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.

TV: NBCSN

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Capitals blog: Jasper’s Rink

Know Your Opponent

Washington Capitals

Record: (20-10-3) | 43 points

Last 10: 7-3-0

Division Ranking: 1st in the Metropolitan Division

Conference Ranking: 4th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 6th (25.0%)

PK: 27th (75.2%)

What to watch for

1. Recent foes

Buffalo and Washington recently clashed for the first time this season. Buffalo played well but ultimately fell in a shootout. That game happened less than a week ago. Since then, Buffalo has played twice and Washington has played once. Both teams should be well rested and ready to go on Friday night.

2. Defensive Reinforcements

From the sounds of practice on Thursday, it appears the Buffalo Sabres are in line for some much needed reinforcements on the blue line. Both Lawrence Pilut and Jake McCabe looked good in practice and appear ready to return to the starting lineup.

3. Alexander the Great

While Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have gotten off to hot starts, Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin has taken his game to the next level. Maybe it was the Stanley Cup pressure? Ovechkin currently has 29 goals in 33 games and as long as he scores one more goal this season, he’ll push his streak of 30+ goals in a season to 14 consecutive seasons.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Evan Rodrigues

Zemgus Girgensons - Casey Mittelstadt - Kyle Okposo

Remi Elie - Johan Larsson - Tage Thompson

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe

Starting Goaltender: Carter Hutton (unconfirmed)

Washington Capitals

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitrij Jaskin - Nic Dowd - Travis Boyd

Defense

Michael Kempny - John Carlson

Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Jonas Siegenthaler - Madison Bowey

Starting Goaltender: Braden Holtby (unconfirmed)