7:10 pm
December 21

Sabres @ Capitals

Who will WIN this matchup?

Buffalo Sabres (20-10-5)

@ Washington Capitals (20-10-3)


Starting Goalies:

Carter Hutton (BUF): Unconfirmed

Braden Holtby (WSH): Confirmed


Current odds:

Buffalo Sabres: (+155)

Washington Capitals: (-175)


 After seeing a number of streaks come to an end in a home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals look to get back in the win column when they host the Buffalo Sabres for the second time in seven days on Friday night. Washington made it five straight wins with a 4-3 shootout victory over Buffalo before the Penguins halted its run. Wednesday’s 2-1 setback ended a string of 14 consecutive games in which the Capitals scored at least three goals and marked only the third loss in the last 15 games for Washington. Captain Alex Ovechkin, the league leader with 29 goals, also had a pair of streaks halted – a six-game goal binge and career-best 14-game point streak.

• Despite last week’s loss at Washington, Buffalo had earned points in four straight games (3-0-1) before it surrendered four third-period goals in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to last-place Florida. Jeff Skinner has scored five times in the past five games to give him 25 for the season – second in the league entering Thursday and one better than his total from 2017-18.

• Forward Patrik Berglund was suspended for failing to report to the team for last week’s road game at Washington and the messy saga ended Thursday after his contract was terminated and he cleared unconditional waivers. “I think that we’ve tried to limit our focus to playing, and the guys that are here,” captain Jack Eichel told reporters Thursday. “You let the right people take care of that situation. You kind of just focus on what you can control and the people that are here.” The red-hot Eichel has nine goals and five assists during a seven-game point streak.

• Washington’s power play was lethal early in the season but has converted on only 4 of their 26 chances this month after going 0-for-5 against Pittsburgh, which marked the first time this season the Capitals failed to score with at least five man-advantage opportunities. “Clearly, special teams is an area we need to continue to work on, and it’s important, definitely important as the season goes on,” Coach Todd Reirden told reporters. Ovechkin, who is on an amazing tear with 17 goals in his last 15 games overall, has scored 31 times in 46 career meetings versus Buffalo.

• Buffalo has one win in their last seven overall (1-4-2) versus the Capitals and is winless in six straight (0-4-2) in Washington.

• Capitals G Braden Holtby is 8-3-1 with a 2.62 goals-against average in his career versus the Sabres.

• Skinner had an assist in the last meeting, part of his current seven-game point streak.

StreakSmarter Pick
Washington Capitals