Since Thomas Vanek seems to be the only guy scoring goals for the Buffalo Sabres, it makes sense to look at how he scores them.

* He gets near the goaltender, putting himself in prime position to tip shots or deposit rebounds.

* He shoots the puck, leading the team with 107 attempts.

* He capitalizes on his chances, with a shooting percentage of 16.8 percent that ranks second on the team and 66th in the NHL.

So, for the rest of the guys wearing Blue and Gold, maybe it's time to be like Thomas.

"It seems like that guy's always there for us," said Sabres defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani, who will join his teammates in facing Washington tonight in Verizon Center.

For the Sabres to beat the Capitals for the second time this week (they won at home Monday for their only victory in the last five games), they could use a few guys to join Vanek and linemate Jason Pominville on the score sheet. Vanek has 18 of the Sabres' 95 goals, while Pominville has 12. That's 32 percent for just two players.

"We've got to find ways for other guys to score," right wing Brad Boyes said Thursday in SkateQuest, 20 miles from the capital. "We've got the same guys scoring every game. You're not going to win relying on two guys. You look at the lineup, a lot of guys have history, but that doesn't do anything right now.

"Our team's built on depth, so we've got to get chipping in from everybody."