Washington (5-3-1) at Buffalo (6-2-2) 7:00 p.m. EDT
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres' blistering
start has become nothing but a memory.
The Sabres will look to snap a three-game losing streak when
they conclude a three-game homestand Saturday against the
Washington Capitals, who will be without superstar Alex Ovechkin
for a second consecutive game.
Washington again will have to make due without reigning Hart
Trophy winner Ovechkin, who left for his native Russia on Monday
to visit his ailing grandfather. He is not expected to rejoin
the team until after the weekend.
Countryman Alexander Semin picked up the slack Tuesday against
the Nashville Predators, collecting a goal and an assist while
adding a tally in the shootout as the Capitals posted a 4-3 win.
The Sabres started the season at 6-0-1, but their high-powered
offense has hit a cold front. After scoring just one goal in a
shootout loss to Colorado on October 25, Buffalo was limited to
two goals apiece in consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay.
The goaltending has not exactly made up for the lack of scoring.
Patrick Lalime allowed all five goals in Monday's loss to the
Senators, while Ryan Miller suffered his first regulation loss
of the season against the Lightning on Thursday despite making a
season-high 35 saves.
Thomas Vanek continues to lead the Sabres offensively as he
netted his league-leading ninth goal of the season Thursday.