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Sabres look to snap skid vs. Capitals

Washington (5-3-1) at Buffalo (6-2-2) 7:00 p.m. EDT

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres' blistering

start has become nothing but a memory.

The Sabres will look to snap a three-game losing streak when

they conclude a three-game homestand Saturday against the

Washington Capitals, who will be without superstar Alex Ovechkin

for a second consecutive game.

Washington again will have to make due without reigning Hart

Trophy winner Ovechkin, who left for his native Russia on Monday

to visit his ailing grandfather. He is not expected to rejoin

the team until after the weekend.

Countryman Alexander Semin picked up the slack Tuesday against

the Nashville Predators, collecting a goal and an assist while

adding a tally in the shootout as the Capitals posted a 4-3 win.

The Sabres started the season at 6-0-1, but their high-powered

offense has hit a cold front. After scoring just one goal in a

shootout loss to Colorado on October 25, Buffalo was limited to

two goals apiece in consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay.

The goaltending has not exactly made up for the lack of scoring.

Patrick Lalime allowed all five goals in Monday's loss to the

Senators, while Ryan Miller suffered his first regulation loss

of the season against the Lightning on Thursday despite making a

season-high 35 saves.

Thomas Vanek continues to lead the Sabres offensively as he

netted his league-leading ninth goal of the season Thursday.

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