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NHL on NBCSN: Capitals, Sabres look to rebound following defeats

Alex Ovechkin continues to etch his name alongside NHL greats, especially after leading the Washington Capitals to their first ever Stanley Cup championship last season.

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Friday night’s matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and the Washington Capitals with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Sabres and Capitals meet for the second time in less than a week with both teams coming off home defeats. Washington had their five-game winning streak snapped by a 2-1 Pittsburgh Penguins win on Wednesday night and look to head into the Christmas break on a winning note.

Both teams blew leads in their defeats this week with the Capitals watching a 1-0 lead get erased by two Penguins goals. The Sabres lead the Florida Panthers 2-1 after 40 minutes and fell 5-2. Buffalo had been 9-0-2 when leading after two periods this season.

“It just seems like we lost momentum. It’s frustrating,” said Sabres captain Jack Eichel. “We’re at home. We’ve got to find a way to have a better third period than that. ... Maybe our puck management wasn’t there. I don’t think the desperation was there; they were definitely desperate. They played hard in their own end, but I don’t think we outworked them.”

The loss was the continuation of some struggles for the Sabres, who are now 3-4-3 since reeling off 10 straight wins earlier this season.

While the Capitals have had more recent success than Friday’s opponent, they’re looking to get their lethal power play going again. They went 0-for-5 vs. Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and are now 0-for-9 over the past two games after going 0-for-4 in last Saturday’s meeting against the Sabres.

“A couple too many failed entries,” said Capitals defenseman John Carlson. “We got some good chances, some good looks like we’re used to, but missing the net a little too much. We’re not putting it in the right spots if you’re not trying to score, and those become easy clears for them where they don’t really have to work for them. It was too many of those.”

Joe Beninati (play-by-play) and Craig Laughlin (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Paul Burmeister hosts NHL Live, which begins at 6 p.m. ET, alongside Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.