Sabres vs. Capitals Preview: Another attempt at beating Washington

The Sabres go up against the top team in the Eastern Conference for the third time in a month.

Game #45

Buffalo Sabres (17-22-4) vs.
Washington Capitals (33-7-3)

Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, CSM| Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Capitals Blog: Japers' Rink

Three Questions

1. Can the Sabres change their fortunes in Capitals games?

The Sabres have struggled against Washington, which isn't surprising since the Capitals are one of the best teams in the league right now. Buffalo lost both games in a home-and-home last month, getting outscored 7-2.

2. Where does Phil Varone fit in?

Buffalo made a bit of a surprising call-up today in Phil Varone, who has been a healthy scratch lately despite leading the team with ten goals. The Americans can only play six veterans at a time, and he's been the odd man out. He's shown in the past that he isn't a horrific scoring option in the NHL, but many like me probably didn't expect to see him in the blue and gold again.

3. Will Pysyk look like his usual self?

Despite being called up following a rehab stint, Mark Pysyk did not play the past two games. Dan Bylsma has confirmed that he'll be in the lineup tonight, but the defenseman who sits out will be a game-time decision. Mike Weber is the obvious choice to take out of the lineup, but Jake McCabe also struggled against Boston.

Projected BUF Lineup

Kane - O'Reilly - McGinn
Gionta - Eichel - Reinhart
Foligno - Larsson - Varone
Moulson - Schaller - Legwand

Gorges - Ristolainen
Pysyk - Bogosian
McCabe - Franson

Goal: Robin Lehner