Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1 Vegas Golden Knights -170 vs.
#2 Buffalo Sabres 6
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7:05pm EST
KeyBank Center, Buffalo
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference contest on the ice in Western New York. The Vegas Golden Knights are on the road as they make the trip to face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. Vegas comes in off a 3-0 home loss to Columbus in their last game Saturday night. Buffalo bounced back in the second game of a back to back situation as they drubbed Detroit 5-1 on the road in their last game Sunday night. The Golden Knights have won three of the four previous matchups, including a 4-1 home win in the most recent matchup on October 16, 2018.

Vegas Golden Knights Trying to Bounce Back

Vegas suffered their third straight loss as they were blanked by a streaking Columbus team. The Golden Knights entered Monday tied for third in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Flames and Coyotes for the top spot. In the wild card race, Vegas owned the top spot entering Monday’s play. Vegas is 16th in scoring with 3.04 goals per game this season. The Golden Knights are 12th in goals against as they allow 3.02 goals per contest on the year. Vegas is 10th in the league with the man advantage as they convert 21.8 percent of their power play chances this season. The Golden Knights are ninth in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 79.7 percent of their shorthanded situations. On the season, Vegas has tallied six shorthanded goals.

Against Columbus, Vegas was unable to dent the twine against Elvis Merzlikins and ended up with the shutout loss. The Golden Knights were outshot 13-7 in the opening period and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, Vegas held an 11-2 edge in shots on goal but was outscored 1-0 to trail 2-0 after two periods of action. The final period saw the Golden Knights with a 9-7 edge in shots on goal but was outscored 1-0 to finish the game on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves for the Golden Knights, who held a 27-22 edge in shots, in the loss.

Buffalo Sabres Look to Build Some Momentum

Buffalo got back in the win column as they rolled over Detroit after losing at home to Vancouver. The Sabres entered Monday night fifth in the Atlantic Division, seven points behind Toronto for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 18 points back of the Bruins for the top spot. In the wild card picture, the Sabres were seven points behind the Flyers. Buffalo is 19th in the league in goals for as they average 2.93 goals per game so far this season. The Sabres are tied for 20th in the league in goals against as they allow 3.17 goals per contest this year. Buffalo’s power play has been below average this season as the team is 22nd in the league by cashing in 18.8 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Sabres are 28th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 75 percent of their shorthanded situations thus far.

In their win against the Red Wings, the Sabres jumped in front early and cruised to the victory. Buffalo held a 12-6 edge in shots on goal and took a 3-0 lead to the dressing room. Evan Rodrigues opened the scoring with his first of the year at 2:39 of the opening period off assists from Curtis Lazar and Conor Sheary. Later in the period, Rodrigues scored his second of the game and the year, on the power play, at 5:00 with assists going to Henri Jokiharju and Brandon Montour. Zemgus Girgensons made it a 3-0 game with his eighth of the year, shorthanded and unassisted, at 12:43 of the period. In the second period, Buffalo was outshot 11-3 and outscored 1-0 to trip their lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. The final period saw Buffalo with a 12-5 edge in shots and a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard to seal the win. Zach Bogosian made it a 4-1 game with his first of the year at 2:35 of the period off assists from Lazar and Michael Frolik. Rasmus Ristolainen closed the scoring with his fifth of the year, on the power play, at 3:49 with assists going to Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin. Linus Ullmark made 21 saves for the Sabres, who held a 27-22 edge in shots, in the victory.

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Buffalo’s inconsistency continued over the weekend as they were doubled up by Vancouver thanks to allowing four third-period goals. The Sabres then followed that up with their win over Detroit. Therein lies the problem with Buffalo. You have no idea what to expect from one game to the next. Vegas has dropped three straight games but perhaps getting back on the road gets them back on track. The Golden Knights are in a crowded playoff race, both in the Pacific Division and in the wild card races. Vegas is ready to get back on track. Look for the Golden Knights to earn the win here as Buffalo flounders in crunch time again.

Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights -145

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Vegas comes into this contest 10-8-3 on the road this season. The Golden Knights haven't been as good offensively or as bad defensively on the road as they are at home this season. Vegas comes into the game with a -1 goal differential (59-58) and a +12 shot differential (664-652) this season on the road. That gives the Golden Knights an average of 5.577 goals per game on the road this season. Buffalo is 13-6-3 on home ice this season and hopes to get things going. The Sabres own a +13 goal differential (75-62) and a -15 shot differential (667-652) in those games. That puts Buffalo at an average of 6.23 goals per game at the KeyBank Center. This one just edges over the total thanks to a late goal or two.

Prediction: Over 6
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.