The road has not been a kind place to the Washington Capitals this season. Heading into Monday’s game against Buffalo, the Capitals own the fourth-worst road record in the Eastern Conference at 6-9-1.

Granted, much of the past two months has seen mixed results, but the Capitals don’t always help themselves out at the start of games on the road. In the past 10 road games, which date all the way back to Nov. 11 against New Jersey, the Capitals allowed the first goal seven times.

“I think we don’t push the pace early,” Jason Chimera said of the road woes. “I think we get behind the eight ball quite a bit in the first period on the road. You can’t play like that all the time, some games you can come back and win it but most times teams are playing well at home and gain momentum from their crowd. It can be hard to come back and we’ve got to get off to a good start.”

While both teams had a two-day holiday break, the Capitals were the ones that got to travel the day of the game in this instance. A strong start here could help Washington knock the Sabres, who have lost three straight, back on their heels.

“I think we’ve got to be ready coming into warm up, have a good warm up and be ready for the first period,” John Erskine said. “We had the disadvantage of having to wake up and travel but both teams had the break – whoever’s ready from the start can get the win. We can’t wait two periods to get into this one.”

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