BUFFALO, NOV. 19 -- The Washington Capitals' three benchwarmers will go back to work Friday night.

Defenseman Garry Galley and right wing Ed Kastelic will play here against the Buffalo Sabres, while Greg Smith and Craig Laughlin rotate to spectator status.

Left wing David Jensen will wear a Binghamton uniform against Nova Scotia. Jensen, idle since Nov. 3, agreed today to a two-week tour on the farm. He had one assist in five games with Washington.

Galley is expected to relieve Scott Stevens of some of the power-play point duty on the left side. Although Galley lacks the defensive skills of Stevens and Larry Murphy, he has a good handle on things in the offensive zone.

"We had seven power-play chances Tuesday {in a 1-0 loss to Detroit} and couldn't score," said Coach Bryan Murray. "We need somebody who can shoot the puck to take some of the load off Scott."

Murphy and Stevens have been generating most of the meager offense the Capitals have been able to muster in the last 11 games.

While stumbling to a 3-7-1 record over that stretch, the Capitals have been outscored, 30-24. And while the goals have been widely distributed, the assist figures provide the reason why Detroit's game plan Tuesday focused on pressuring Murphy and Stevens.

Stevens (12) and Murphy (7) have recorded 19 assists during the 11 games. The 14 Washington forwards have managed only 15.

"That tells the story of why we're not winning," Murray said. "We don't have the forwards who should get the points getting points. They have to produce if we're going to be successful.

"Detroit played man to man against Larry and Scott. That left us three on three down low and, with the matchups, we should have gotten more chances. But we didn't eliminate a man, either through speed or picking off. It was a case of the forwards not identifying what was happening.

"I try to put Larry and Scott in offensive positions when they're on the ice, because they're better with the puck. There's nobody better than Larry at getting the puck and penetrating. He sees the ice so well."

Both Stevens and Murphy seemed almost embarrassed when asked to comment on the burgeoning assist totals that have placed them 1-2 in the team's scoring.

"Everybody has these stretches during the season where goals are hard to come by," Stevens said. "You can't let it go too long and I'm sure we won't. It'll probably just be a few games before Gussie {Bengt Gustafsson} and Garts {Mike Gartner} fly by us and lead the team in scoring the way they should.

"When the team isn't scoring, you want to do as much as you can to get goals and set guys up. Maybe five or six times a game you can pinch when the situation is right. But you can't go crazy, give up a two-on-one and get deeper in the hole."

Murphy said, "I like to contribute as much offensively as I can, but we win by playing good defense and I think that has the top priority.

"In the short term, it's okay for Scotty and me to get more points than the forwards, but if it stays that way over the season, we have a serious problem. Everybody's annual production usually is at a higher clip than this year and it should all average out at the end."

For the time being, Murray is not changing anything basic in his system, although he hopes the lineup changes will light a spark.

"The bottom line is that we can't score," Murray said. "We make every goaltender look like a million dollars. Our goaltenders look so good in practice, it's scary. But I really don't want to talk about it, because guys will press more and it will get even worse.

"Hartford was having problems, then last night against Buffalo, everything went in {in a 9-1 victory}. I hope we can break out the same way."