banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (20-14-4) at Buffalo Sabres (10-24-4), 5 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals look to secure back-to-back victories on Sunday evening as they visit the Buffalo Sabres in the first of consecutive road games.

The Capitals salvaged the finale of a three-game homestand on Friday by holding off the New York Rangers in a 3-2 victory. Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Eric Fehr all scored and Philipp Grubauer made 38 saves.

Fehr had the game-winner late in the third period after the Rangers had tied the game while shorthanded 17 seconds into the frame. Fehr ripped a shot from the right circle, finally notching his sixth goal of the season after having a tally overturned in the second frame.

"Last year by far he was our most versatile player," said Washington head coach Adam Oates about Fehr. "His offensive reads, he has a great stick - he is kind of an opportunist player. The goal tonight, maybe caught the goalie off guard, and he almost had one in the second on the power play."

The Capitals, who had lost four of six coming in, will play four of their next five on the road, including Monday's tilt in Ottawa.

Oates has plenty of options in net as Washington continues to carry three goaltenders. The Caps opened the season with Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth manning the crease and Grubauer got a chance to play while Neuvirth was injured.

Grubauer has made a case for sticking around, going 5-1-1 with a 2.18 goals against average in eight games, including six starts.

While Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 30 goals, has failed to light the lamp in back-to-back games after notching eight over his previous six games, Backstrom has logged four goals and 13 assists over his last eight games.

The Sabres will need to keep their eye on that duo while aiming to rebound from a tough 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Buffalo took a first-period lead when Matt Moulson and John Scott scored 52 seconds apart, but Toronto rallied for three goals in the second frame.

"That was one of the worst periods we've played all year," Moulson said of his club's second period. "Obviously, they took advantage of that."

Steve Ott, though, forced overtime when he scored with 24.1 ticks left in regulation and Ryan Miller helped his team earn a point by making 39 saves.

Buffalo, which had won three of four coming in, saw Scott score his first goal of the season and second of his career. His first tally came on Nov. 15, 2009 while with Minnesota.

The Sabres and Capitals are meeting for the first time this season after Washington won all three encounters a season ago.

The Caps have taken seven of the last 10 encounters overall, claiming a 4-3 shootout triumph in their lone trip to Buffalo a season ago.

Miller is 13-11-0 with a 2.58 GAA and three shutouts in 25 career starts versus Washington.

12/29 10:22:13 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Hurricanes vs. Caps 3
All 82 Canes games to be televised

The Carolina Hurricanes will be featured on three national broadcasts on NBC Sports Netword in 2014-15 with the other 79 games being available on either FOX Sports Carolinas or SportSouth.

Related Stories
  • NFL: Tampa Bay at Atlanta

    Thursday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Maryland at Syracuse

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Alabama

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Larry Fedora press conference

    Today at 11:45 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Panther Talk with Ron Rivera

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis (JiP)

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
TOR 5
TAM 6
Final
DET 6
CLE 4
Final
NYM 0
WAS 3
Final
PIT 7
CHC 3
Final
PHI 4
MIA 5
Final
KAN 4
BOS 8
Final
MIL 9
CIN 2
Final
CWS 4
MIN 6
Final
STL 4
COL 1
Final
TEX 10
ATL 3
Final
ANA 1
HOU 6
Final
SFG 2
LOS 4
Final
SEA 0
OAK 4
Final
ARI 8
SDP 6
Final
BAL 3
NYY 2
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
CIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
DET
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
LOS
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
PHI
 
Final
NYG 14
ARI 25
Final
CIN 24
ATL 10
Final
TEN 10
DAL 26
Final
CAR 24
DET 7
Final
WAS 41
JAC 10
Final
BUF 29
MIA 10
Final
MIN 7
NEP 30
Final
CLE 26
NOS 24
Final
SDC 30
SEA 21
Final
TAM 17
STL 19
Final
OAK 14
HOU 30
Final
DEN 24
KAN 17
Final
GBP 31
NYJ 24
Final
SFX 20
CHI 28
8:30pm Tonight
IND
PHI