Buffalo Sabres vs Washington Capitals 4/9/21 Game Preview

The Sabres wrap up their three games in four-night span tonight against the Capitals. Despite losing 6-3 to the Devils last night, Buffalo has been much better as of late and looks to bounce back.

Expected Lines

Sabres

Asplund-Mittelstadt-Thompson

Olofsson-Reinhart-Okposo

Skinner-Sheahan-**

Rieder-Eakin-Ruotsalainen

Bryson-Ristolainen

Dahlin-Jokiharju

Miller-Montour

Tokarski

Capitals

Ovechkin-Eller-Oshie

Sheary-Backstrom-Wilson

Vrana-Kuznetsov-Carr

Hagelin-Dowd-Hathaway

Orlov-Carlson

Dillon-Schultz

Chara-Jensen

Vanecek

(via dailfaceoff)

Looking to bounce back

While the Granato era started off poorly, he had the team playing really well as of late. Fresh off a 5-game point streak the Sabres lost to the Devils 6-3 last night.

Buffalo had been playing with house money and the players were really enjoying themselves as of late. Now it’s time to see if they can rebound off a tough loss and put a strong effort against a good opponent in Washington.

5v5 Offence has been on fire

The Sabres have struggled to score all season at 5v5, they’ve been the worst offensive team in the league this year.

However, they’ve been trending in the right direction as of late. Since March 29th, the Sabres sit third in the entire NHL with 15 5v5 goals (via natural stat trick), trailing only Colorado and Toronto in that time-frame.

While the team is playing way better as of late it’s important to note that puck luck has really started to trend in their direction, 15 5v5 goals on 10.11 xGF (via natural stat trick).

It’s finally Arttu time

After being held out of the lineup against Devils, Arttu Ruotsalainen will finally make his NHL debut for the Sabres.

It’s a moment Sabres fans have been waiting for as their biggest European free agent signing finally makes it into an NHL lineup.

Ruotsalainen had 13 points in 13 AHL games for the Amerks and was arguably their best offensive player this season. If he can come in and have an impact at the NHL level the Sabres will have a nice piece to keep in their lineup for the future.

Granato said that the plan is to have Ruotsalainen come in for Steven Fogarty, who will be moved to the taxi squad.

Other News and Notes

  • The Sabres claimed Drake Cagguila off waivers from the Coyotes
  • Dustin Tokarski starts in goal for the Sabres
  • Buffalo’s schedule only gets tougher from here, playing Boston, Washington and Pittsburgh a combined 12 more times between tonight and the season’s end

Prediction

While I think the Sabres are playing better, I think Washington wins this game 5-3.

Arttu Ruotsalainen will score his first NHL goal tonight and I think Dahlin will continue his point-streak.

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