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Sabres-Capitals Preview @NHL
Sabres-Capitals Preview

GAME: Buffalo Sabres (13-9-1) at Washington Capitals (8-13-2).

TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.

The injury-riddled Buffalo Sabres will be missing at least one more player when they meet the Washington Capitals.

Taylor Pyatt suffered a broken wrist in Buffalo's 3-1 win Friday over the Montreal Canadiens and is out indefinitely. Pyatt recorded his second career hat trick Nov. 17 in an 8-5 win over the Capitals.

Mike Grier also suffered a knee injury in a collision with teammate Tim Connolly at center ice and missed most of the third period in the win over the Canadiens. His status for this game is unknown.

Buffalo played without Daniel Briere and J.P. Dumont, both out with abdominal injuries. Briere has missed the last two games while Dumont has not played since Nov. 17.

Goaltender Martin Biron, playing in place of the injured Ryan Miller (broken thumb), made 40 saves in the win over Montreal. In his last four starts, Biron is 4-0 with a 2.45 goals against average. Prior to that, he was 2-4 with a 4.36 GAA.

Even with all the injuries, Buffalo has won five of its last six games.

"It's just the nature of our team," said Connolly "We always want to work as hard as we can out there, and when we do that, we know that good things will happen."

Washington is coming off perhaps its most disappointing loss of the season. The Capitals took the New York Rangers to a record 15th round in a shootout before losing 3-2 Saturday night.

Goaltender Olaf Kolzig kept Washington in the game before allowing the shootout winner to defenseman Marek Malik.

"It was actually kind of fun," Kolzig said. "On this stage, Madison Square Garden, Saturday night ... I didn't expect Malik to pull a move off like that."

In his last three starts, Kolzig is 0-3 with a 3.17 GAA. He is 13-10-2 with a 2.39 GAA his career against the Sabres.

Rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin has a three-game points streak, recording three assists in that span.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 26): Sabres - 27 points, 4th place, 9 PB, Northeast Division. Capitals - 18 points, 4th place (tied), 13 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Sabres - Briere and Ales Kotalik, 12 goals; Teppo Numminen, 16 assists; Briere, 20 points; Paul Gaustad, 20 PIM. Capitals - Ovechkin, 15 goals and 24 points; Jeff Halpern, 14 assists; Brendan Witt, 68 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 26): Sabres - Power play: 22.4 percent (31 for 138), 3rd. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (90 for 110), 16th. Capitals - Power play: 11.9 percent (15 for 126), 29th. Penalty killing: 79.7 percent (138 for 173), tied for 25th.

GOALTENDERS: Sabres - Biron (6-4-1, 0 SO, 3.62 GAA); Mika Noronen (1-1-0, 0, 3.06). Capitals - Kolzig (7-8-2, 0, 3.50); Brent Johnson (1-4-0, 0, 5.34).


LAST MEETING: Nov. 17; Sabres, 8-5. At Buffalo, N.Y., Pyatt and Brian Campbell combined for five goals. Ovechkin, Chris Clark and Andrew Cassels each had a goal and an assist for Washington.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sabres - 5-5-0 on the road; Capitals - 6-4-1 at home.

Associated Press
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