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Surging Sabres to face Capitals in key showdown

NHL.com @NHL

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Defenseman Robyn Regehr and the Buffalo Sabres have mounted a remarkable two-month charge to climb out of the cellar and into the playoff hunt.

Now they have a recharged Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals standing in their way in a late-season showdown at Washington on Tuesday.

Regehr can appreciate how much adversity - injuries, criticism, and a franchise-worst road skid - the Sabres have already overcome. He had difficulty quantifying how significant this next test is by saying, calling it a big game would be an understatement.

The mood's no different in Washington. The Capitals were already looking ahead to facing Buffalo shortly after nudging the Sabres out of the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot following a win over Minnesota on Sunday.

Both teams have six games left.

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