January 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) and Buffalo Sabres center Jochen Hecht (55) battle for the puck in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Pregame Skate: Washington Capitals

The third and final meeting between the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals is tonight in downtown Buffalo – and the Capitals are looking to sweep the season series over the Buffalo Sabres for only the second time in franchise history.

Both teams come into tonight’s contest with a mere 31 points – and the loser of tonight’s contest could very well find themselves only looking back at the Florida Panthers.

For Buffalo – the homecoming means putting a miserable Florida trip that saw them take one point out of an available four – and lose to two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the teams you should beat if you wanted to push into the playoff picture.

What made the trip even more surprising was beating the Montreal Canadiens twice and the Toronto Maple Leafs; all in the same week – to give your team hope.

For Buffalo – the road doesn’t get any easier; for the Capitals – a strong push could put them back in contention, there next eight contests are against non-playoff teams, a great way to pick up sixteen points and try and fight back into the top eight.  Buffalo has their next seven of nine at home – but the next seven straight contests are against teams in the 1-7 seeds.

The Washington Capitals have outscored the Buffalo Sabres so far in the season series 8-5 – and offensive production hasn’t been a friend of the Buffalo Sabres.  They will likely be without Thomas Vanek – who is still listed as questionable with his upper body injury.


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