Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals Preview: Hodgson and Leino return
The Sabres have two of their veteran scoring forwards back in the lineup, but will it make a difference against the high powered Capitals?
The injury-riddled Sabres will get two of their more important forwards back in the lineup tonight as Ville Leino and Cody Hodgson return from injury. Hodgson is important because he's one of the team's leading points producers. Leino is important because he gives us someone to collectively yell at. They return after missing eight and three games, respectively.
While everyone outside the locker room worries about how Mikhail Grigorenko and his refusal to be sent to juniors will play out, the Sabres players are probably more worried about trying to stop the Capitals, and specifically Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom who are both on four game point streaks.
To do that, the Sabres will turn to Ryan Miller, who will try to give the Sabres the same type of performance he gave them the first time these two teams played - a sparkling 49 save effort that led to a 2-1 shootout win.
Buffalo Sabres (12-26-5) at Washington Capitals (22-16-6)
Puck Drop - 3:00pm EST - Verizon Center - Washington, D.C.
TV - MSG, Bell, CSN-DC | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Capitals Blog - Jaspers' Rink
1. How will Hodgson and Leino fare coming back into the lineup?
Hopefully they'll help jump-start a Sabres offense that has scored just four goal in their last four games.
2. Will Miller put on a repeat performance against the unofficial Team Russia contingent?
He brushed aside Olympic comments last time, but you've got to think it felt good for Miller to stop all of Ovechkin's 12 shots and 49 of 50 from the Capitals last time they played.
Projected BUF Lines
Moulson - Ennis - Girgensons
Ott - Hodgson - D'Agostini
Omark - Leino - Flynn
Scott - Konopka - Foligno
Ehrhoff – Pysyk
Weber – Myers
McNabb - McBain
Goal: Ryan Miller
Scratches/Injuries: Sulzer, Tallinder, Porter, McCormick, Ellis
- Sabres send Grigorenko to juniors, Larsson to Rochester; Hodgson and Leino to return from injury
- Sabres Links: Grigorenko's unclear future, Nolan and Miller yet to talk to Murray, possible spots for Moulson
- Tim Murray hired as Buffalo Sabres general manager
- Sabres Links: Nolan's interim tag to come off?