The Columbus Blue Jackets fire a cannon whenever the team scores at home. On New Year's Eve at Nationwide Arena, the Washington Capitals hope that their 2011 doesn't go out with a bang against the lowly Blue Jackets.
Friday, the Caps exacted revenge on the Buffalo Sabres in a 3-1 win after the latter had won the first two matchups in convincing fashion. Alex Ovechkin scored twice, while Nicklas Backstrom scored his 100th career goal and Tomas Vokoun made 25 saves.
Saturday, Washington turns its attention to Columbus, the NHL's worst team. A 10-22-5 record through the 2011 portion of the season so far leaves much cause for concern for a team that thought they would contend after making several key acquisitions this summer. One of said acquisitions, James Wisniewski, broke his ankle Thursday and is out for six weeks. Yet, the Blue Jackets still have Rick Nash, who has torched the Caps; in just eight career games against Washington, Nash has 11 points (seven goals, four assists).
The Caps, meanwhile, will look to improve their road record. After three straight losses away from home, the Caps have a 6-10-1 road record, one of the worst in the NHL.