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Sabres visit Capitals aiming to halt 11-game road slide

(SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres took just about everything the Washington Capitals had the last time the clubs met and came away with a shootout victory.

The Sabres try to knock off the Capitals again on Sunday afternoon and snap an 11-game road losing streak in the process.

Buffalo hosted Washington on Dec. 29 and was outshot 50-17 in the game, but Miller helped the Sabres steal a 2-1 shootout win. The netminder had 49 saves through overtime and stopped all six skaters faced in the tiebreaker.

Steve Ott had the shootout winner for the Sabres, who had lost all three of their games versus the Capitals last season.

Philipp Grubauer got the start in net that day for the Capitals and only had to make 16 saves through 65 minutes, but couldn't handle Ott's blast over his right shoulder.

Miller is 14-11-0 with a 2.51 goals against average and three shutouts in his career versus the Capitals and is likely to start today.

Buffalo's win over Washington was part of a five-game home winning streak that was snapped on Thursday with a 2-1 shootout setback to the Florida Panthers.

Jhonas Enroth got the start in net and had 34 saves through overtime and then stopped the first two skaters he faced in the shootout. That includes a second-round stop on Jonathan Huberdeau after it was ruled the Panther skater pushed Enroth into the net as the puck crossed the goal line.

Brad Boyes, though, fired a shot in the next round that hit off the post and then bounced off the back of Enroth for the deciding tally.

"I don't know if it's bad luck. He's one of the best in the league in shootouts and it's pretty much impossible to stop him in the shootout. It's a great shot. I've got to give it to him," said Enroth.

Jamie McBain scored the only goal in regulation for the Sabres, who were without defenseman Tyler Myers as he served the opener of a three-game suspension for an illegal hit in last Saturday's win over New Jersey.

Buffalo has scored two goals or fewer in five straight and will try to increase that production and win on the road for the first time since Nov. 5 in San Jose. The Sabres are 0-9-2 as the guest since and 3-14-2 overall on the road this season.

They are expected to have both Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino in the lineup today. Both forwards practiced on Sunday, with Hodgson set to return after missing eight straight with an upper-body injury. Leino has missed the past three contests with a lower-body ailment.

Washington has won seven of its past eight at home versus Buffalo and picked up its second straight win overall with Friday's 3-2 decision over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Capitals had gone 0-2-2 before winning consecutive games for the first time since a three-game win streak from Dec. 7-10.

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, while Joel Ward notched the game- winner in the third period. Nicklas Backstrom added a tally and Michal Neuvirth made 32 saves in his first start since Nov. 22.

"We felt good out there tonight," said Ovechkin. "(Thursday) night's game (a 4-3 victory at Tampa Bay) was fun and it's really important for us to get these points right now. We're fighting for a spot and we need to get on a roll before the Olympics."

Washington is 6-2-2 in its last eight home games.

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 32 goals, reaching the mark in 42 games. He scored 32 goals in 48 contests during last season's lockout-shortened schedule.

The Caps continue to carry three goaltenders on their roster in Braden Holtby, Grubauer and Neuvirth. It is unknown who will start today.

01/12 08:34:37 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/18 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
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Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
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Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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