That's why both teams will be desperate to win when they meet at the Verizon Center in one of 11 games on Saturday's NHL schedule.
The Sabres, seventh in the East, have been off since Wednesday, when they got 23 saves by rookie goaltender Jhonas Enroth to beat the New York Rangers 1-0. Enroth may play again if starter Ryan Miller is still injured. Washington is coming off Thursday's 4-3 overtime win at Columbus, which moved them within a point of Philadelphia for first in the East -- a win will put the Caps into the top spot.
The NHL Network will air the game in the United States, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
The day's action begins at 1 p.m. ET, when the Boston Bruins need a point in their home game against the Atlanta Thrashers to wrap up the Northeast Division title -- something they failed to do on Thursday by losing 4-3 to Toronto in a shootout.
The Thrashers beat the Flyers 1-0 in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Tampa Bay, which clinched a playoff berth on Thursday by beating Pittsburgh 2-1, pays a rare visit to Minnesota, where the Wild are coming off a 4-2 win against Edmonton. That game starts at 2 p.m. ET, an hour before the Central Division showdown between Detroit and Nashville at Bridgestone Arena. The Wings have been off since they were routed 10-3 at home by St. Louis on Wednesday. Nashville comes home after Thursday's 3-2 win at Colorado.
At 4 p.m. ET, Los Angeles looks to rebound from Thursday's 3-1 loss at Vancouver when it hosts Dallas. The Stars are 0-3-0 on their road trip, including Thursday's 6-0 loss at San Jose.
The Sabres-Caps game is one of five that get under way at 7 p.m. ET.
Carolina, which is chasing Buffalo and the Rangers, visits the New York Islanders -- who gave the 'Canes a helping hand by beating their rivals 6-2 on Thursday.
Toronto visits Ottawa, a 4-1 winner at Florida on Thursday, in a game that can be seen on CBC. Montreal, off since Wednesday's 6-2 loss at Carolina, visits New Jersey, a 4-2 winner against Philadelphia on Friday, in a game that can be seen on CBC and RDS in Canada. Also, Pittsburgh visits Florida.
At 10 p.m. ET, Vancouver hosts the second half of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader when Edmonton comes to Rogers Arena. It's the Canucks' first game since wrapping up the Presidents' Trophy by beating L.A. on Thursday night.
A half-hour later, Anaheim aims to improve its playoff hopes when it visits San Jose. The Ducks, seventh in the West, have been off since Wednesday's 4-2 win at Calgary.