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Buffalo Sabres (13-16-5) 31 pts
The Sabres host the Washington Capitals on tonight as both teams struggle to keep their playoff hopes alive. They both have 31 points and are four points behind the 8th place New York Rangers.
Buffalo has lost two games to the Caps so far this season and are looking to avoid the season sweep. Including their last victory over Buffalo, Washington has gone 4-2 in their last six and are making a serious late season push.
Some of their recent surge has been due to the should-be team-leaders Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin putting lots of points on the board. Ovechkin has 10 points in his last six games (getting at least one point in each game), and Backstrom has seven.
The Capitals are coming off a tough loss to the Islanders, who sit in 9th in the East. After gaining a two goal lead in the first, the Capitals answered back with two of their own in the second. Fast forward to 5:18 left in regulation, and John Tavares slipped one past Braden Holtby to break the tie and give the Islanders the win.
The Sabres are also coming off a one-goal differential loss, but by way of a shootout. Buffalo’s defensemen shined in Sunrise as they combined for five points altogether.
Drew Stafford and Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup and both found their names on the scoresheet, Stafford getting both a goal and an assist.
Although they generated more chances than in their previous loss against Tampa Bay, the Sabres failed to hold on to their late third period lead after Huberdeau scored the tying goal with Steve Ott in the box.
After the game, Miller was visibly disappointed in the loss, but also stated that there are 28 points left on the table.
Tonight’s game is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.
Washington Capitals (15-17-1) 35 pts