for this game

Winless Caps host Sabres

Jan 27, 2013 - 4:03 PM
(Sports Network) - Off to the franchise's worst start to a season since 1993-94, the Washington Capitals will aim for their first win Sunday afternoon against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

The Capitals are 0-3-1 through four games and Adam Oates is still looking for his first win as an NHL head coach. It's the club's worst start to a campaign since going 0-6-0 in October of 1993.

Washington was able to secure its first point of the season Friday night in New Jersey after losing an overtime decision to the Devils. Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 21 seconds left in overtime lifted the Devils to the 3-2 victory at Prudential Center.

The Capitals trailed the game by a 2-0 score heading into the third period but Mike Ribeiro's power-play tally made it 2-1 with 7:15 left in the third and Mike Green tied the contest with just 2:56 remaining in regulation.

"Obviously we want to get the win, but we waited for 57 minutes to get the tying goal, but everyone hung in there and worked hard for 60 minutes. We played a much, much better hockey game," said Oates, who was an assistant coach with the Devils last year.

Neuvirth finished with 32 saves in the losing effort.

Washington is 0-2-0 on home ice this season after going 26-11-4 as the host in 2011-12.

The Sabres, meanwhile, opened the year with two straight wins before being humbled with a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes. Buffalo was dealt a 6-3 loss in Raleigh on Thursday and then lost the home portion by a 3-1 score on the following night.

Jay Harrison scored the deciding goal with 4:50 remaining in the third period to help the Hurricanes win Friday's game at First Niagara Center.

Ryan Miller made 39 saves for Buffalo, but the Sabres allowed the Hurricanes to score twice on five opportunities with the man advantage.

"You want to win these [close] games, or at least send them to overtime," said Miller afterward. "I needed to make one more save."

Thomas Vanek recorded the Sabres' lone goal of the evening and has three markers on the season. Vanek, Jason Pominville and Cody Hodgson have combined to score nine of Buffalo's 11 goals this season.

Buffalo claimed victory in three of four meetings against the Capitals in 2011-12, but Washington has taken six of 10 overall in the series. The Caps had won five straight on home ice versus the Sabres until Buffalo posted a 5-1 win in D.C. on March 27 of last season.

Washington has won six of the previous eight meetings in D.C.