The Washington Capitals take to the “City of Good Neighbors” but don’t expect them to be too neighborly to the Buffalo Sabres when they meet them on the ice Monday. The Sabres are sitting in seventh place in the Atlantic Division and at this point are five spots out of even wild card contention.
The darling of the Sabres is rookie center Jack Eichel who played a physical game in the Sabres-Bruins game Saturday. His teammates called him “crazy good” he was credited with two goals in the game that gave the Sabres a winning edge (6-3). The 19 year old also earned the First Star of the Night.
Center Ryan O’Reilly (90) ranks first in goals and points (32) for the team as a whole. He has also had two GWG’s (Game winning goals) so far this year.
Evander Kane (9) missed practice for personal reasons on Sunday (CBS Sports). Recent reports by ESPN say that he is currently being investigated for a sexual offense that occurred in Buffalo. It’s unclear at time of publishing whether we will see Kane in the lineup or not. Kane was moved to Eichel’s line and had a goal and an assist in the win against the Bruins.
Goalie Chad Johnson had 30 saves on 33 shots against the Bruins and .918 save percentage. In his last 5 games he’s had three regulation wins, one regulation loss and one loss in OT.
Goaltender Robin Lehner has been out since he was injured in the first game of the season.
The Sabres are likely to be on a bit of a high after their 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins. They had a great comeback, scoring three goals in a 4:03 minute span in the third period. With a current record of 15-16-4, they are an unpredictable team who may present a challenge to the Caps—one they should be able to control.
The Buffalo News reports that attendance has been down this year and even many season ticket holders are not using their seats. It’s possible the fans might show up to see the top performing Capitals and bring some energy to First Niagara Center. Could the infusion of fans bring new energy to the struggling Sabres? Tune in Monday night at 7:00 PM on CSN-DC+ to see it all unfold!
Header photo credited to NHL.com