Wednesday 9:30 p.m. ET
Free NHL Pick: Flames PL; Over
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
A month ago, the Sabres may have been the pick here, but a lot of things can change in an NHL month! This game pits two teams headed in completely different directions and it will remain that way as the Flames will get their 6th straight win beating the Sabres at home.
After winning 10 straight games in November, the Sabres came back down to earth in early December and since December 15, they’ve fallen off the proverbial cliff, going 4-8-2 and dropping out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and have lost 3 straight games. Their captain Jack Eichel hasn’t registered a point in his last 5 games. Yes, he missed 3 games due to injury, but he simply seems off and frustrated and it’s, unfortunately, rubbing off on his teammates. Jeff Skinner remains the only consistent threat offensively and defensively the Sabres have been a greater mess. That’s not helping the mediocre goaltending as of late, as Carter Hutton was pulled after allowing 5 goals on 12 shots in his last start, a 7-2 loss at Edmonton Monday.
Meanwhile, the Flames have (pun very much intended), been en fuego over the last month going 11-3-3 and 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Their star players, led by Hart Trophy candidate Johnny Gaudreau, are showing up on an almost nightly basis. On the blue line, Mark Giordano is having a Norris worthy season 38 assists and 47 points and between the pipes, through David Rittich, Calgary has found the consistency to combat the inconsistent Mike Smith. The Flames also tend to score a ton at home as they are 17-5-1 on the over/under at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames are 30-17 against the spread and 15-8 at home. Calgary has scored 173 goals and allowed 133. They’re 25-21-1 on the over/under. The Flames are 26-21 on the puck line and 13-10 at home.
The Sabres are 23-23 against the spread and 9-14 on the road. Buffalo has scored 133 goals and allowed 137. They’re 23-21-2 on the over/under and 10-11-2 on the road. The Sabres are 29-17 on the puck line and 17-6 on the road. Eichel leads the team in assists with 34 helpers and in points with 49. Skinner leads the team in goals with 30 lamplighters.
- For the Sabres, Hutton is 14-14-0-3 with a 2.75 GAA and .912 save percentage and Ullmark is 9-3-0-3 with a 2.86 GAA and .918 save percentage.
- For the Flames, Smith is 13-9-0-1 with a 3.00 GAA and .889 save percentage and Rittich is 17-4-0-3 with a 2.45 GAA and .920 save percentage.
- For the visiting Sabres, defenseman Casey Nelson is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
- For the Flames, James Neal (illness) is a game-time decision; Jusso Valimaki (ankle) is week-to-week and Mark Stone (arm) is out indefinitely.
Prediction: Flames 5 Sabres 3