With Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green in town, the special teams are going to be a huge point of emphasis for the Sabres in tonight's game against the high-flying Washington Capitals. Buffalo is 0-6-1 at home and can't let the Caps run wild with the man advantage if it wants to snap that skid.
Even with all their talent, the Caps' power play went 1 for 33 in their playoff loss to Montreal last year (shades of 0 for 19, eh?). Things started badly this year as Washington was just 4 for 39 in its first 10 games and had an 0-for-16 run in one five-game stretch. The Caps hit town, tonight, however on a six-game winning streak and are 9 for 22 in those games.
The Sabres, meanwhile, have dramatically picked up their penalty killing since Jason Pominville's return. They're 15 of 16 the last five games with him on the ice -- and 23 of 24 on the season with him. Without Pominville, that 95.8 percent clip drops to just 69.8 (30 of 43).
"It's been better. Special teams have been one of the issues at home," said coach Lindy Ruff. "We need improved special teams. ... If you kill them off, and we know Washington has got some lethal weapons on their power play, you can give yourself a chance."