The Sabres aren’t going to make the playoffs this year, so it seems counter-productive to their implicit goal of a first overall draft pick to continue winning. Still, under new head coach Ted Nolan, this team has bite, and is a respectable 5-3-2 in its last 10 games. They haven’t played since a Thursday shootout loss to Florida, and will be looking to continue their promising run of late.
Washington Capitals vs Buffalo Sabres live
In a season of disappointment, the play of Sabres starting goaltender Ryan Miller (11-18-1, 2.64GAA .927SP) has been a lone shining light. Selected to start for the American squad at the Sochi Olympics, the veteran is in the final year of his current contract with the Sabres, and is playing well enough to earn a raise this off-season. Though Buffalo has been non-committal in their desire to re-sign him, you have to think that it is a must if they want to be competitive any time soon.
One of the reasons Buffalo considered Miller expendable heading into this season was the play of young Swedish goaltender Jonas Enroth. This season has been somewhat of a disappointment for the 25-year old though, as he has only 1 win from 13 starts and a diminished save percentage from the last two years. When juxtaposed with the play of Miller, it is clear that Enroth is on a lesser tier; if Buffalo decides not to re-sign Miller and roll with him, they could be in for an even longer re-build.
Buffalo’s two leading scorers, center Cody Hodgson (8-11, -10) and winger Matt Moulson (8-10, -9) will be in the line-up together for the first time since mid-December. Both have missed significant chunks of time with injury, and will be welcomed back to a Sabres line-up with a serious dearth of scoring.
The Capitals had been struggling prior to last week, on a four game losing streak and dropping steadily in the tight Eastern standings. A pair of back-to-back wins over solid Tampa Bay and Toronto teams has done wonders to restore their collective confidence, and they enter Sunday action trying to gain ground on home ice advantage in the Eastern conference.