NHL Picks: Red Wings Seek Victory On Home Ice vs. Sabres

Bruce Webster

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 12:27 PM UTC

The Buffalo Sabres visit the Detroit Red Wings, who are looking to bounce back from their loss to Florida. Join this NHL odds break down and look, along with us, for the best NHL picks. 

Lines: Detroit -178/ Buffalo +160
Total: 5
The Buffalo Sabres have shaken off their six game losing streak by winning a pair of 4-1 games over Carolina and Nashville, while the Detroit Red Wings let one get away in their 2-1 loss in OT to Florida on Sunday. Detroit has won 13 of the last 14 games at home in this series. Let's break down the NHL odds and see what this game has to offer.


Johnson Strong in Back-To-Back Wins
Chad Johnson has not had the best of seasons, but he may be turning the corner as he is off a pair of 4-1 wins over Carolina and Nashville. In the win over Carolina he stopped 27 shots and then stopped 28 more in the win over Nashville on Saturday. The Sabres really needed him to step up as they had lost their last six games in a row, prior to his two wins. For the year now, Johnson is 6-8 with a 2.37 GAA and he is 1-1 with a 3.00 GAA in his career vs the Red Wings.

The offensive hero in the win over Nashville was Sam Reinhart, who has two of the four goals, which were his 5th and 6th goals of the year. Also scoring were Jamie McGinn (4th) and Ryan O’Reilly (8th). The Sabres are not a strong offensive team as they come in ranked 27th in scoring (2.2 gpg), but they have been strong on the power play where they rank 7th. On defense they have been decent, ranking 13th in goals allowed (2.5 gpg) and 5th in shots allowed, but have struggled on the penalty kill where they are 27th.


Detroit Blows Game Late vs Florida
On Sunday afternoon the Detroit Red Wings took on the Florida Panthers and had a 1-0 lead from midway through the 2nd period until Reilly Smith tied the game at one with a just a little over five minutes in regulation. In watching the game you could almost see the tie coming as Florida just kept coming at Petr Mrazek with relentless pressure. Finally they were able to get a goal on him and then it was Brian Campbell that scored just 1:20 into the OT period that won it for Florida.

The game saw the Red Wings stretch of OT games as they have now played extra hockey in six of their last seven games. This team has to be getting tired. Scoring the lone goal in the loss was Dylan Larkin, which was his 10th of the year and 6th in his last seven games. The loss went to Petr Mrazek, who is now 6-7 on the year with a 2.19 GAA. Jimmy Howard should get the start here and he is 6-5 with a 2.40 GAA on the year, vs Buffalo he is 6-1 with a 1.46 GAA. Detroit comes in 23rd in scoring (2.3 gpg) and 26th on the power play, while on defense they are 10th in goals allowed and 4th on the penalty kill.   


Trends for Buffalo:
15-39 in their last 54 vs. the Atlantic

2-8 in their last 10 games playing on two days rest


Trends for Detroit:
5-1 in their last six vs. a team with a losing record

4-1 in their last five when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game

This has truly been an awful series for the Sabres as they are just 4-23-1 in the last 28 meetings with Detroit, while also going just 1-13 in their last 14 trips to Joe Louis Arena. Tough numbers to buck, even though Buffalo is off two wins, while Detroit is off a loss. That loss for Detroit was a very tough one to swallow and I will expect them to come out with redemption in their eyes. Jimmy Howard has been very strong vs this team as well and that should continue here as the Red Wings get the sour taste out of their mouths from that loss to Florida, with a solid win in this one and a solid NHL pick for us. 

Free NHL Pick: Detroit -178 at Bookmaker

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