Sabres’ Record-Tying 10-Game Winning Ends Thursday In Tampa

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

The marquee matchup in the NHL on Thursday is clearly Buffalo at Tampa Bay as arguably the East’s two best teams face off for the second time this season.

Buffalo (17-6-2) at Tampa Bay (17-7-1)Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ETFree NHL Pick: Lightning ML (& Over)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s a freaking shame that the NBC Sports Network doesn’t own the rights to the NHL on Thursday nights because there’s no national TV for the big Buffalo at Tampa Bay showdown. Well, that’s what NHL Center Ice is for.

Never too early to start thinking about playoff tiebreakers, especially with the Sabres and Lightning in the loaded Atlantic Division with Toronto and Boston. The playoffs in that division are going to be crazy. Buffalo could clinch no worse than a season split with a win Thursday.

That’s because the Sabres were 2-1 home winners over Tampa Bay on Nov. 13. Carter Hutton was deservedly the No. 1 star that night as he stopped 29 shots against the NHL’s best offense. Jeff Skinner scored at 17:45 of the first and then Kyle Okposo the eventual game-winner at 5:43 of the second. Tampa’s lone goal was from Anthony Cirelli at 5:58 of the second – the Bolts outshot the Sabres 14-2 in the second. Lightning backup Louis Domingue finished with 17 saves.

Tampa split two home games vs. Buffalo last year and is 11-8 against the Sabres at home this decade. The last time the Bolts lost a home season series to Buffalo was the 2009-10 season.

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\"This is a team who is having so much fun playing hockey right now!\"@duffersabres & @martybiron43 break down the @BuffaloSabres' 10th straight win, as they topped the Sharks in OT. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/AmwrUzjHBr

— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) November 28, 2018
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Perfect 10 For Sabres

Buffalo has tied a franchise record with 10 straight victories following a 3-2 overtime home win over San Jose on Tuesday – the Sabres did blow a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, but Skinner scored his 19th of the year at 1:41 of OT. It’s the longest winning streak in the league since the Columbus Blue Jackets won 16 in a row from Nov. 29, 2016, to Jan. 3, 2017. Nine of the 10 Buffalo games have been decided by one goal and seven have gone past regulation.

Skinner has been an incredible offseason trade pickup from Carolina as he’s tied for the NHL lead (as of Wednesday) with 19 goals after totaling 24 in 82 games last year with the Hurricanes. Carter Hutton also has been a great pickup and stopped 36 of 38 shots to improve to 12-6-1 with a 2.50 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage.

Tampa perhaps was caught looking ahead to this one on Tuesday as it lost 3-1 at home to Anaheim to snap a three-game winning streak (all had been by multiple goals). The Lightning fell one point behind Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo.

The Bolts are without No. 1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for at least another month to a fractured left foot. Domingue took the loss Tuesday but has been solid at 8-4-0 with a 3.19 GAA and .903 SV. Tampa largely wins with arguably the NHL’s top offense, though. Brayden Point is off to a monster start with 18 goals and 14 assists. Nine players have at least 10 points.

  • Lightning are 18-6 in their last 24 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Sabres are 2-7 in the last 9 meetings in Tampa Bay.

We could take the easy way out and go ‘over’ the total here, but we’ll take the Lightning for a Thursday NHL pick to stop that winning streak.

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