Do the Sabres have any chance on home ice tonight versus the red-hot Penguins? Our NHL betting odds expert provides us with the answers in his preview article in this game.
Recent Domination by the Pens over the Sabres
The Sabres will play host to the Penguins today at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo with the opening face-off slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to the NHL odds, the Penguins are a -325 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. The puck line at 5Dimes has the Penguins -1.5 (-102) and the Sabres +1.5 (-108). The Penguins defeated the Sabres 5-0 at home in their only other meeting this season. Pittsburgh won all 3-games versus Buffalo last season, and outscored the Sabres in those contests by a cumulative score of 12-2. The listed probable starting goaltenders for this Eastern Conference battle are, Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh, and Jonas Enroth for Buffalo.
The Pittsburgh Penguins enter tonight riding a 6-game winning streak, and has outscored those 6-opponents by a decisive 27-7 margin. The Penguins power play has been off the charts good. They’ve converted on an excellent 19-for-52 (36.5%) of their man advantage situations in their first 12-games. The penalty killing has also been superb in killing off 44 of 50 (88%) power play chances by the opposition. Marc-Andre Fleury has been outstanding in goal, going 8-2 in 10-starts, compiling a terrific .943 save percentage, and has earning 2-shutouts.
No Light at the End of the Tunnel
The Buffalo Sabres are on their way to what will be in all likelihood, a 2nd consecutive last place finish in the Atlantic Division, and Eastern Conference standings. Tonight will be the finale of a 4-game in 7-day home stand. On a positive note, they’ve earned 3 of 6-points possible in the first 3-games. On the darker side, they squandered a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period last night, and lost 3-2 to the Edmonton Oilers. Quite frankly, if not for a superlative effort by goaltender Michael Neuvirth who stopped 48 of 51 Oilers shots on net, this would’ve have been a lopsided result. Buffalo has been outshot by an average of 15.0 shot on goal per game this season, and has allowed the opposition to amass 37.3 shots on net per contest.
The Sabres did manage to pull off one shocker this season already this season, knocking off the San Jose Sharks 2-1 as a +275 money line underdog. However, the likelihood of a similar result versus the Penguins tonight is extremely slim. The Penguins are rolling right now in all phases of their game, and their domination over the Sabres since the start of the 2013-2014 campaign speaks volumes. I’m going to recommend a puck line selection in this game for one of your NHL picks today.
Free NHL Pick: Penguins -1.5 (-102) over the Sabres