Friday, 10 p.m. ET
Free NHL Pick: Sabres ML
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
They say there’s nothing sweeter than a repeater and if that’s the case then load up on the Sabres tonight because those who included them in their NHL picks on Wednesday got a healthy return on their investments. Buffalo traveled to Calgary and skated away with a 4-3 overtime victory, courtesy of a nifty wrist shot off the stick of Jack Eichel to seal the deal. The NHL odds board had tagged the Sabres as a +185 road dog against the Western Conference-leading Flames and Buffalo snapped their three-game losing skid as they struggle to keep pace in the Atlantic division.
Vancouver came away on the short end of a 3-2 shootout against Edmonton on Wednesday night and are now mired in the muck of a streak that has seen them lose four of their last five contests. The Canucks dropped road games to their Canadian neighbors Montreal and Toronto then lost to the Coyotes at home. Next up was a win over the Panthers on Sunday before this most recent loss to the Oilers. Things are not going well for the Canucks and they will hope to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss to the Sabres back in November.
The Sabres have the weapons to exploit a shoddy Vancouver defense, ranked 22nd in the league allowing 3.08 goals per game. Not surprisingly, the Canucks have been susceptible when down a man as evidenced by their 78.3 percent power play kill rate. At the very least the Sabres have been putting the puck in the back of the net, having averaged 3.14 goals per game over their last seven contests while the Canucks have been blanked in three of their last seven. Although Buffalo has struggled away from the Prudential Center with a 10-14 mark (including OT and shootout losses), the Canucks have not exactly been a tour de force at home registering a 10-12 record (again, including overtime and shootouts). The trends are clearly favoring the Sabres as you will see below, so make sure to include Buffalo in your NHL picks on Friday night.
- Sabres are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. Pacific.
- Sabres are 8-3 in their last 11 vs. Western Conference.
- Canucks are 5-11 in their last 16 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Canucks are 6-14 in their last 20 games playing on one day’s rest.
- Canucks are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. Atlantic.
- Canucks are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Canucks are 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
- Canucks are 1-6 in their last 7 Friday games.
Final score prediction: Sabres 3, Canucks 1