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Sabres Vs. Capitals: Nicklas Backstrom's Goal Caps Off Washington's 4-3 Shootout Victory Over Buffalo

The Capitals needed some late-game heroics, but Nicklas Backstrom's shootout goal lifted them to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Sabres.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30:  Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals shoots the puck against the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on September 30, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: Alexander Semin #28 of the Washington Capitals shoots the puck against the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on September 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Although the NHL's regular season does not begin until next week, the Washington Capitals' 1-3-1 record through five exhibition games is unexpected of a team with such promise. With two preseason games left, the Caps hope to finish on a positive note, starting Friday against the Buffalo Sabres at Verizon Center.

After a dominant 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday, Washington struggled against the Nashville Predators in a 4-1 loss Wednesday. Mathieu Perreault scored the only goal for the Caps Wednesday, but will not play Friday as he is "banged up." Head coach Bruce Boudreau, however, believes Perreault will be ready to play Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Via The Washington Post's Katie Carrera, Washington's lines Friday should look like this:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Johansson-Brouwer
Laich-Backstrom-Semin
Chimera-Eakin-Ward
Hendricks-Halpern-Beagle

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Schultz-Green
Hamrlik-Wideman

Goal
Vokoun
Holtby

For Buffalo, most of their expected regular season lineup could play with the exception of forward Brad Boyes, who will sit out for the second game of his two-game suspension for hitting Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joe Colborne in the head last week.