BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 26: Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals skates against Paul Gaustad #28 of the Buffalo Sabres in the first period at First Niagara Center on December 26, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
As the Capitals say farewell to 2011, they will face two struggling teams in Buffalo and Columbus this weekend.
The Washington Capitals, coming off a win over the then Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers, will have a road-home back-to-back weekend as the calendar turns to 2012. The Capitals will host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night at Verizon Center. This is the third time the Caps will face the Sabres, having lost 5-1 and 4-2 to Buffalo already this season. Both those games were played in upstate New York, as this will be the Sabres first visit to Chinatown this year. Buffalo has struggled this month, losing eight of twelve games and four of their past five - the only win coming against Washington this past Monday.
On the second night of the back-to-back, the Caps will travel to Columbus to face the lowly Blue Jackets. Columbus broke a six game losing streak on Thursday night with a 4-1 win in Dallas. At 10-22-5, they still have the worst record in the league. Facing two struggling teams, this could be a pivotal weekend for Washington as they bid adieu to 2011.