The Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals are separated by 10 points in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but the Sabres have a couple games in hand on the rest of the conference.
These two will meet at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY, with the puck
dropping at 12:30 ET. NHL betting fans will get to see this one live with NBC's
Super Sabres Need Better From Miller
The Buffalo Sabres have really
played some better hockey of late, going 13-6-2 over the course of its last 21
games. This run has gotten the Sabres back into the race for the postseason,
but they are still a few points short of getting the job done.
The play of Ryan
Miller really has to improve from his numbers for the season. He was the
American goaltender that nearly won the gold medal in the Winter Olympics last
year in Vancouver, but you wouldn't know that he was the best that the country
had to offer based on his numbers this year.
Miller is 24-17-5
with a 2.74 GAA and a .910 save percentage. He does have three shutouts, but he
hasn't pitched a clean sheet since January 6 against the San Jose Sharks.
However, if you take out that seven goal bust against the New York Islanders,
his GAA since that point was down to a very respectable 2.31.
Ovie and Company Need More Offense
Last season, the
Caps came up with 318 goals, easily the best in the league by a margin of 46
goals. That average GPG output was 3.9. Now, that number is down to just 2.7,
which ranks just No. 16 in the league.
aren't a lot of pieces to this puzzle that have changed over the course of the
two seasons. Sure, Alexander Semin has missed 15 games due to injury, but that
is still no excuse. Alexander Ovechkin only has 23 goals and 37 assists this
year, and though the 60 points is a great number, it's not nearly one of the
best in the league and is still fewer than what Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney
Crosby has in significantly fewer games. Nicklas Backstrom only has 53 points
as well, and after a year in which he had 101 points, this is a brutal
Stacking Up the NHL Betting Lines
These two teams
played each other once this year both at the Verizon Center and here in
Buffalo. The home team took both battles, with Washington winning 4-2 at home,
while Buffalo picked up a 3-2 OT win here at home. The Caps have had absolutely
no luck here at HSBC Arena, going just 3-7 over the course of their last 10
The good news for the Washington Capitals is that it has won four straight games played on Sunday, but the bad
news is that it is 4-11 in its last 15 road games against teams with a losing
home record. It also is really awful that the Capitals have lost seven straight
games when their foes are coming off of a game in which they have scored two
goals or fewer.
The Sabres have
won five of their last six games playing on a day of rest, but they are just
1-4 in their last five games playing here at home.
Sabres Should Strike on Sunday
We just can't
trust this Washington team on the road, especially if it ends up being the
favorite on the NHL odds. The Capitals just aren't all that good, but the
sportsbooks still continue to give them all the respect in the world. Buffalo
will get back in the playoff picture once and for all once again on Sunday with
a huge home win on NBC.