Both the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres spent Christmas feeling dissatisfied about their seasons so far. Each team will have plenty to say about whether the other can begin to turn things around before the end of 2011.
The frustrated clubs square off Monday night at Buffalo in the first of two meetings in a five-day span.
The Sabres (16-15-3) haven't exactly played well at the First Niagara Center, going 7-9-3 there, but they must be happy to be back in western New York after getting outscored 15-6 on an 0-3-0 trip before the holiday break.
They had 42 shots Thursday at Toronto and killed all six of the Maple Leafs' power-play opportunities, but that somehow still added up to a 3-2 loss - their eighth defeat in 11 games overall.
"Obviously the couple days rest here is going to be nice to spend time with our families and maybe not think about hockey - think about other things," leading scorer Jason Pominville said. "But we wanted to end this on ...