BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 26: Matt Ellis #37 and Mike Weber #6 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate Ellis' goal in the first period against the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center on December 26, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Capitals Vs. Sabres: Washington Suffers Another Humbling Defeat In Buffalo In 4-2 Loss

After a 5-1 loss to the Sabres last month, the Caps returned to Buffalo and allowed four unanswered goals in the first period in a 4-2 loss.

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Mathieu Perreault Injury: Washington Capitals' Forward Taken To Hospital After Being Hit By Own Stick

Washington Capitals forward Mathieu Perreault was taken to a Buffalo hospital on Monday after getting speared by his own stick in the third period of the Capitals' 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. Perreault was taken there for precautionary reasons and flew home separately early Tuesday morning, according to Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.

The injury occurred with five minutes and 59 seconds remaining in the third period. Perreault was in the offensive zone when he ran into Sabres defensemen Christian Ehrhoff in the corner. Perreault's own stick was pushed into his midsection and he fell on the ground. Perreault did skate for three more shifts before leaving the game for good with what the team deemed an "upper-body injury." The team said he was taken to the hospital for "precautionary reasons." By then, the game was mostly out of reach.

For more on the Capitals, visit Japers' Rink.


Capitals Vs. Sabres: Washington Suffers Another Humbling Defeat In Buffalo In 4-2 Loss

On November 26, the Washington Capitals faced the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center and left with a humiliating defeat. Exactly one month later, not much changed.

A four-goal first period for the Sabres ultimately spelled doom for the Caps in a 4-2 loss Monday.

Jason Pominville, Matt Ellis, Christian Ehrhoff and Brayden McNabb scored in the first period - twice on the power play - to chase Michal Neuvirth (three goals on six shots) and put the game out of reach.

Matt Hendricks' first goal of the season late in the second period and Alex Ovechkin's power play goal midway through the third period made the game look respectable, but the score was not indicative of the Caps' overall effort.

The loss drops the Caps to 6-10-1 on the road. Those 13 points are second-fewest in the Eastern Conference.

Washington will have another chance to redeem themselves against Buffalo Friday at Verizon Center, but before that, they will have to face the New York Rangers Wednesday at home.


Capitals Vs. Sabres: Mathieu Perreault's Late Goal Cuts Caps' Deficit To 4-1

There was some good news for the Washington Capitals in the second period: the Buffalo Sabres didn't score and they did.

Mathieu Perreault's late goal put a dent into the Sabres' lead as the Caps trail 4-1 after 40 minutes.

While Matt Hendricks and Mike Knuble wreaked havoc in the crease, Perreault corralled the loose puck and fired a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Ryan Miller. The unassisted goal cut the Sabres' lead to just three goals.

In more positive news, Washington is actually outshooting Buffalo 14-13. Also, the Caps came back from a three-goal deficit in the third period of Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils.


Capitals Vs. Sabres: Floodgates Open In Buffalo As Sabres Lead Caps 4-0

Niagara Falls isn't too far from where the Washington Capitals are playing Monday, which is apropos because it seems as though they are falling over the edge.

The Buffalo Sabres came out firing as they lead the Caps 4-0 after 20 minutes.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead just 51 seconds into the game on the power play. With Roman Hamrlik in the penalty box for sending the puck over the glass nine seconds in, Jordan Leopold brought the puck into the offensive zone and passed it up to Drew Stafford, who then crossed it to Jason Pominville. Pominville put the puck past Michal Neuvirth for his 12th goal of the season.

Not even three minutes later, Matt Ellis put Buffalo up 2-0 when he stripped the puck from Karl Alzner on a faceoff in the offensive zone, muscled his way to the net and put his backhand past Neuvirth. Christian Ehrhoff added insult to injury when his point shot eluded Neuvirth for his third goal of the season at 11:15. Tomas Vokoun then relieved Neuvirth after the latter allowed three goals on six shots.

Brayden McNabb pushed Buffalo's lead to 4-0 at 14:14 when Brad Boyes maneuvered around three Washington defenders before dropping the puck to McNabb in the slot.


Capitals Vs. Sabres Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Washington Capitals (17-14-2, 36 points) visit the Buffalo Sabres (16-15-3, 35 points) on Monday night with the puck slated to drop at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Tune in to CSN+, but not CSN, to catch the game; CSN is carrying the Washington Wizards' NBA season opener against the New Jersey Nets instead.

Buffalo is just 8-9-3 on its home ice and has lost three straight games by an average score of 5-2, so Washington certainly has an opportunity to improve its unimpressive 6-9-1 road record.

Here is everything you need to know about the Capitals vs. Sabres game:

Game Date/Time: Monday, Dec. 26, 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY


Radio: Capitals: Capitals Radio Network; Sabres: WGR 550 AM

For more Capitals coverage, please visit Japers' Rink, SB Nation's Capitals blog. For the perspective from the other side, please check out Die by the Blade, SB Nation's Sabres blog.


Capitals Vs. Sabres: Tomas Vokoun Confused By Benching

There was a bit of confusion for Washington Capitals fans in Buffalo on Monday. Tomas Vokoun left the ice first at the team's morning skate, a move that usually indicates he is the starting goalie. However, a few minutes later, it was announced that Michal Neuvirth would instead be the starter for Monday's game against the Sabres.

Afterwards, Vokoun wasn't happy. Via Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times.

"I can't really tell you. I don't know what I did wrong to be in this spot," Vokoun said. "I'm a professional hockey player and I don't make decisions who plays, who doesn't. That's not question for me. All I can answer is where I play, how I play and how I felt I did out there and stuff like that. That's pretty much all I can tell you about."

Vokoun has not started in goal since December 13, when he gave up four goals in 21 shots in a blowout Capitals loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

For more on the Capitals, visit Japers' Rink.


Capitals Vs. Sabres: Washington Returns To Site Of One Of Season's Worst Games Monday

The Caps return to the site of one of their most lopsided losses of the season Monday when they face the Sabres at First Niagara Center.

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