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Preview: Sabres (21-51) at Capitals (38-30)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: March 17, 2013 7:00 PM EDT
  

The Buffalo Sabres can't afford a repeat of their last trip as they embark on another road-heavy stretch.

If recent history is any indication, they might have a tough time getting off to a winning start in the nation's capital.

Buffalo looks to stop a four-game road skid and pick up only its second win in eight trips to Washington on Sunday night against the Capitals.

The Sabres (10-14-4), who haven't won on the road since Feb. 28, went 0-2-2 on their recent four-game swing before splitting the last two contests on home ice.

After ending their overall losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday, Buffalo appeared to be on its way to back-to-back wins with an early two-goal lead Saturday.

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The Northeast-worst Sabres, however, couldn't hold on to their largest lead entering a second period in almost a year, falling 4-3 to Ottawa in overtime.

Drew Stafford scored two goals and defenseman Mike Weber added his first in 51 games, but Buffalo fell to 1-2-3 in its last six contests.

"It's disappointing,' captain Jason Pominville said. "We just can't get one point. We have to be able to get two points. We had a two-goal lead, and it just wasn't good enough.'

Now Buffalo will try to bounce back against the Capitals as it begins a stretch of five of six on the road. The Sabres, though, have lost six of seven in Washington, including a 3-2 defeat on Jan. 27.

Washington, however, has had its own troubles lately. After winning eight of 11, the Capitals (11-15-1) have fallen back into their early-season funk with four losses in five games.

Marcus Johansson was credited with the team's lone goal when the puck caromed in off a Bruins defenseman in a 4-1 loss at Boston on Saturday.

"We shot ourselves in the foot,' winger Joey Crabb said. "We turned it over in our own end and they capitalized on it.'

The Capitals have struggled offensively lately, totaling seven goals in their last five games. Nearly half of those came in a 3-2 victory at Carolina on Thursday.

Alex Ovechkin, who is tied for the team lead with 10 goals, has five in his last six games against the Sabres.

Washington has converted just four of its last 27 chances (14.8 percent) on the power play, but may be able to get something going against a Buffalo team that has killed only 13 of 20 penalties (65.0 percent) over its last six games.

Ryan Miller, who made 30 saves against the Senators, could get the nod again on Sunday since he's started both ends of back-to-back games four different times this season.

Miller, however, is 1-5-0 with a 2.88 goals-against average in his last six road starts in this series.

Leading scorer Thomas Vanek will try to extend his eight-game point streak (4 goals, 5 assists) against the Capitals, while Pominville has four goals over his last seven meetings.

Buffalo is expected to face Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who has lost his last two starts after winning five of six.

Holtby is 0-1-1 with a 4.16 GAA in two career starts against the Sabres.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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