GAME: Washington Capitals (11-22-3-1) at Buffalo Sabres (14-19-3-1).
TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Buffalo Sabres should be happy to see the Washington Capitals again.
Buffalo tries to remain perfect against Washington this season when the
teams meet for the second time in a week.
Buffalo has won both previous meetings between the teams, most recently
enjoying a 3-1 victory Saturday at the MCI Center.
That gave the Sabres back-to-back wins for the first time in a month, but
their three-game unbeaten streak was snapped Monday with a 2-1 loss at
Curtis Brown staked Buffalo to the lead late in the first period, but
Carolina goaltender Kevin Weekes stopped the next 15 shots over the final 40
Production from the power play is imperative for any team, but particularly
for the Sabres, one of the league's weakest offensive units. Buffalo registered
one shot on five power-play opportunities Monday and has scored just three
times in the last 49 chances.
"The guys on the power play will be the first to say we gotta have that
working," defenseman Jay McKee said. "I know as penalty killers that when we
shut a team down it gets you going. We need to find ways to get more shots
As if their scoring problems aren't enough, the Sabres were forced to put
goaltender Mika Noronen on injured reserve Tuesday with a groin problem.
Noronen was injured during Monday's loss to Carolina. He will be out for at
least a week.
Noronen, who had supplanted Martin Biron as the No. 1 goalie after starting
seven of the last eight games for Buffalo, is 8-9-1 with a 2.05 goals-against
average and two shutouts in 21 appearances this season.
Buffalo recalled goalie Ryan Miller from Rochester of the AHL. Biron hasn't
won a start since Nov. 17.
Forward J.P. Dumont, who has been sidelined since injuring his hip against
Carolina, won't play against Washington on Wednesday, but may return for
Friday's game against Anaheim.
Washington comes in after losing its second straight game by a 3-1 score,
this time to visiting Boston on Monday.
The Capitals dropped to 3-4-2 under coach Glen Hanlon and were denied the
1,000th victory in franchise history.
"After the loss two nights ago, I was harder on myself," Hanlon said. "As
far as not winning at home, it's hard to take and nobody likes that."
Part of Washington's problem is its dismal play against the Northeast
Division. The Caps are 5-2-1-1 against the Southeast, but just 2-8-2 against
teams from the Northeast.