Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Caps/Sabres Preview

Washington Capitals (26-34-13, 65 points)
Buffalo Sabres (46-19-7, 99 points)

Television: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: Sportstalk 980-AM
Gametime: 7:00 PM ET

It feels as though the season has been reborn again. The Capitals head into tonight's game in Buffalo riding a two game winning streak in which they dominated playoff caliber teams from Toronto and Tampa Bay. Back-to-back home wins included a 7-1 drubbing of the Lightning thanks to a breakout game from winger Tomas Fleichmann and the second career hat trick from Alexander Semin.

In one game Fleichmann doubled his scoring output for the entire season at the NHL level tallying a career high four points. It's the type of game the entire organization has been waiting for from the talented Czech prospect. He has proven at the AHL level that he is a dynamic player that has the ability to take control of a game. His problem has been transferring that production to the NHL level and securing a permanent spot with the big club. Hopefully, he will continue to build on his excellent game against the Lightning and provide the Capitals with another scoring option to complement the Alexs'.

The current win streak just happened to begin with the return of franchise goaltender Olie Kolzig, who has shown no signs of his knee injury that kept him out of the lineup for the past month. He clearly is the glue that keeps this team together.

The Sabres on the other hand have lost three consecutive games at home as they look to secure the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Ryan Miller has struggled lately posting a 1-3-2 record with a 3.38 goals against average since stopping 29 shots in route to a 4-1 victory in Tampa March 5th.

The game also marks the first time Danius Zubrus will play against his former team. In his 9 games in Buffalo Zubrus has scored twice while averaging 18:22 of ice time in more of a checking role than he was used to with the Capitals.

Another win from Washington and things will certainly begin to get interesting as the Capitals look to finish off the season as they did last year, on a high note.

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