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At the Rink: Sabres at Capitals

by Katie Brown / NHL.com

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson is questionable to play against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, BELL TV, CSN-DC). He did not practice Wednesday.

Carlson did not play against the Sabres on Monday, snapping his streak of 412 consecutive games played. Carlson has 27 points in 34 games this season and leads the Capitals (27-6-2) with an average ice time of 24:28 per game.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said Carlson was having an MRI and the results of that would determine Carlson's status for the game Wednesday.

"Just wanted to take a look at his injury and we’ll see where he is when he gets back," Trotz said.

Forward Zach Sill was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Tuesday and will make his season debut against the Sabres. He will replace injured forward Michael Latta in the lineup. Latta said his injury was minor and that he tweaked something in his arm during an altercation with Buffalo forward Nicolas Deslauriers on Monday.

"I'm just going to bring energy, a physical presence, and hopefully be able to create some energy and run around a little bit with my linemates and do what a fourth line does," Sill said. "I'm going to finish my checks, I’m going to play hard. I don't feel any pressure at all going in for [Latta] tonight."

Sill has played in 83 NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. He had four points in 63 games for the Penguins and Maple Leafs last season.

"He plays hard, plays honest. He's a great teammate, sticks up for guys," Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney said of Sill. They also were teammates with the Penguins. "He does all those kind of old-school things you'd expect from an old-school player like that. He can fill a lot of different roles. He can play wing, play center, kill penalties. He's just a good all-around hockey player."

Chad Johnson will start in goal for the Sabres (15-17-4).

Here are the projected lineups:

SABRES

Jamie McGinn - Ryan O'Reilly - Sam Reinhart

Evander Kane - Jack Eichel - Tyler Ennis

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Matt Moulson

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian

Mike Weber - Cody Franson

Linus Ullmark

Chad Johnson

Injured: Mark Pysyk (lower body), Robin Lehner (ankle), Cody McCormick (blood clot)

Scratched: Marcus Foligno, Carlo Colaiacovo

CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich - Zach Sill - Andre Burakovsky

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt

Taylor Chorney - Connor Carrick

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), John Carlson (lower body), Michael Latta (upper body)

Scratched: Stanislav Galiev

Status update: Orpik has not skated since Dec. 7 and there has been no update on his injury.

Who's hot: Ovechkin has 39 points in 37 games against the Sabres. … Backstrom has 26 points in 29 games against the Sabres. … Ennis has 12 points in his past 11 games against the Capitals.

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