BY: DAVID KOLB
BUFFALO SABRES (9-10-5) @ WASHINGTON CAPITALS (13-7-3)
The Sabres head to Washington to face the Capitals at Verizon Center tonight, as the Caps took the first meeting between the teams, 3-1 on Nov. 25. Since then, the Caps have not managed to gain another win, losing three straight games (0-2-1), while the Sabres have bounced back, winning two of their next three games.
KANE GETTING GOING
Evander Kane finally scored his first goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 loss versus the Bruins. No. 9 is playing injury-free and has scored a point in each of his last three games (a goal and two assists), giving him a goal and four assists for five points in 13 games played this season.
Caps’ scoring ace Alex Ovechkin is suddenly ice-cold and without a goal since Nov. 23. Ovechkin lit the lamp 12 times in the first 19 games, however, has gone four straight without a goal. In the first meeting between these clubs, Ovie tallied an assist in 15:24 of ice-time.
The Capitals scoring woes are not isolated to Alex Ovechkin, as the club has only scored 22 goals in their last 10 games, which included a seven-goal outburst versus Pittsburgh on Nov. 16. Lack of scoring has led to troubling losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders last week, two of the worst performing clubs in the NHL.
Sabres’ defenseman Josh Gorges will miss several weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his foot, sustained while blocking a shot during the Sabres’ 4-3 win over the Rangers on Thursday. Gorges, who has played in 23 games this season, was averaging 19:27 of time on ice, and joins fellow injured defensemen Zach Bogosian and Dmitry Kulikov on the sidelines.