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The Capitals take on the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena today in the first of three meetings between the teams this season. The Capitals are 55-83-15-5 all-time against the Sabres and 9-3-0 in their last 12 games.

Alex Ovechkin recorded his franchise-leading 22nd career hat trick yesterday against the Carolina Hurricanes, his second consecutive game with a hat trick. He became the 14th player in NHL history to record consecutive hat tricks multiple times in his career (also on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7, 2017) and the first player to do so since Alex Kovalev (Feb. 7 and 10, Nov. 13 and 14, 2001). His hat trick marked the 14th different franchise he's scored three goals in a game against, one of 13 players to do so. With that hat trick, Ovechkin passed Glenn Anderson and Richard Martin and tied Teemu Selanne for the 11th most in NHL history. In addition, the hat trick marked Ovechkin's 127th career multi-goal effort, tied with Jaromir Jagr and Mike Bossy for the ninth most in NHL history. Ovechkin leads the NHL with 28 goals. He is the 18th different player in the modern era (since 1943-44) to score 28 goals in his team's first 31 games, and third to do so since 1993-94 (Jaromir Jagr: 1995-96, 28g in 31 games and 1996-97, 30g in 31 games; Mario Lemieux: 1995-96, 29g in 27 games). Ovechkin is looking to break a tie with Bobby Hull to become the first player in NHL history to lead the NHL in goals eight times. The 33-year-old leads a group of nine 20-goal scorers this season, seven of whom are 30 or younger. Ovechkin (33 years, 201 days as of April 6, 2019, the final day of the regular season) could become the sixth player in NHL history to lead the League in goals at age 33 or older (Bill Cook in 1932-33: 36 years, 165 days; Gordie Howe in 1962-63: 34 years, 358 days; Nels Stewart in 1936-37: 34 years, 82 days; Maurice Richard in 1954-55: 33 years, 228 days; Phil Esposito: 1974-75: 33 years, 45 days). Ovechkin now sits at 635 career goals, six goals shy of passing Dave Andreychuk (640) for 14th on the NHL's all-time goals list. Wayne Gretzky holds the all-time record for most goals (894) and has played in 453 more games than Ovechkin. Should Ovechkin, who is averaging 0.61 goals per game in his career, maintain his average and play in 453 more games, he'll record 911 goals.

Schedule & Availability

Today

10:30 a.m.: Optional morning skate, MedStar Capitals Iceplex

4:45 p.m.: Head coach Todd Reirden media availability, Capital One Arena

7 p.m.: Washington vs. Buffalo Sabres, Capital One Arena

TV: NBCSW
Audio: FAN 106.7 FM, Caps Radio 24/7, Caps Mobile App, WashingtonCaps.com

Sunday, Dec. 16

Day off

Monday, Dec. 17

10:30 a.m.: Practice, MedStar Capitals Iceplex

Tuesday, Dec. 18

10:30 a.m.: Practice, MedStar Capitals Iceplex

Capitals Clips

December 15, 2018

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump 'n Chase: Caps to Spend Saturday Night with Sabres / Caps Take Two the Hard Way
Washington Capitals: Versatile Infusion

Washington Post: Alex Ovechkin notches another hat trick as Capitals rally for shootout win / Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos has surgery on left thigh, will be out indefinitely
NBC Sports Washington: Jonas Siegenthaler earns first NHL point and plays like he belongs in win over Carolina / Four reasons the Capitals beat the Hurricanes, 6-5, in a shootout / Another Ovechkin hat trick, another Capitals win / Djoos out indefinitely giving Seigenthaler a chance to cement himself in the NHL

NHL.com: Ovechkin hat trick extends streak in Capitals win against Hurricanes
AP: Alex Ovechkin Scores Hat Trick in Second Straight Game as Capitals Top Hurricanes
Buffalo News: Sabres can get a true gauge of their progress in matchups with Caps

ESPN: The cases for, against the Capitals returning to Stanley Cup Final / Picking out personalized goal songs for NHL stars (Washington Capitals mentioned)

NBC Sports: The Buzzer: Ovechkin, Aho dazzle in duel; Scheifele on fire / Another Ovechkin hat trick inspires epic Capitals' comeback  
Raleigh News & Observer: Ovechkin hat trick helps Caps rally, top Canes in shootout / Baffling shootout choices one of many frustrations in avoidable Hurricanes loss (Washington Capitals mentioned)

RDS: Alex Ovechkin recorded a second hat trick in a row
Reuters: NHL roundup: Ovechkin's second straight hat trick leads Caps

Sporting News: Alex Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat trick
Stats TSX: Sabres will try to cool off Capitals' red-hot Ovechkin

TSN: Alex Ovechkin is on pace for an absurd amount of goals this season
WGR Radio (Buffalo): The Sabres let three players rest as they get ready for the Capitals
WNST: Alex Ovechkin's Hat Trick Helps the Caps Knock Off Carolina, 6-5
Yahoo Sports: The NHL Evening Skate for Dec. 14 (Washington Capitals mentioned) / Capitals' Alex Ovechkin just can't stop scoring right now

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Caps Postgame | December 14 / Todd Reirden Post | December 14 / EA Sports Ratings Challenge
Edmonton Journal: Off the Post podcast: Alex Ovechkin's amazing season

NBC Sports Washington: Reaction to another Ovi hat trick / Pregame Rush: Caps vs. Sabres

The Province: Off the Post Podcast: Alex Ovechkin's Amazing Season

TSN: By the Numbers: Ovechkin closing in on many NHL records
WRC-TV NBC 4: On MSE Foundation's Family to Family Holiday Party (11 p.m.)

Sabres Clips:

T The Athletic: Sabres getting boost from balanced scoring across all four lines
AP: Skinner scores 22nd goal, Sabres beat Coyotes 3-1
Buffalo News: Sabres Notebook: Dahlin excited to return to Washington / Skinner caps another comeback with overtime goal, sending Sabres to eighth straight win / Jeff Skinner Using Lessons From Family, Figure Skating to Succeed with Sabres / With the puck in his glove or on his stick, Hutton's good times keep rolling for Sabres

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