Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#17 Montreal Canadiens 6 vs.
#18 Buffalo Sabres -115
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
KeyBank Center, Buffalo
Written by Chris Kubala

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#17 Montreal
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A pair of old Adams Division and current Atlantic Division rivals take the ice in Western New York. The Montreal Canadiens are on the road as they make the trip to face the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night. Montreal comes in off a 6-5 road win over Toronto in a shootout Saturday night in their last contest. Buffalo was knocked off 4-3 in overtime on the road by Columbus in their previous contest Monday night. The Sabres took three of the four meetings last season with two of those coming in overtime: in the most recent contest, it was Montreal picking up a 7-4 win at home on March 23, 2019.

Montreal Canadiens Look for Two Points on the Road

Montreal dug themselves out of a big hole and managed to take two points from a tired Toronto team on Saturday night. Once again with a rest advantage, the Canadiens will look to put those fresh legs to use and pick up two points in Buffalo. Montreal is tied for eighth in the league in scoring as they put up four goals a night so far this year. The Canadiens are tied for 22nd in the league by giving up four goals per contest this season. Montreal is tied for fifth in the league on the power play by converting 33.3 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Canadiens are tied for 16th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 75 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.

The Canadiens started strong, faded for a long stretch and then turned it on late to get the win over a Toronto team playing their third game in four nights. Montreal was outshot 12-11 in the opening period and trailed 2-1 at the first intermission. Max Domi opened the scoring with his first of the year at the 1:08 mark off assists from Artturi Lehkonen and Brendan Gallagher. The second period saw the Canadiens outshot 12-10 and gave up the lone goal of the period to trail 3-1 after two periods. In the final period, Montreal outshot Toronto 12-9 and outscored them 4-2 to send the game to overtime tied at five.

After falling behind 4-1, the Canadiens rallied: Jonathan Drouin made it a 4-2 game at the 5:27 mark off an assist from Domi. Gallagher made it 4-3 at 6:29 of the period off assists from Shea Weber and Tomas Tatar. Jeff Petry tied the game with an unassisted goal on the power play at 13:02, his first of the season. Phillip Danault gave the Canadiens a 5-4 edge with his first of the year at 15:20 off assists from Gallagher and Weber. Toronto tied the game with 1:15 to play in regulation and the teams went to overtime. In the extra session, the Canadiens owned a 9-4 edge in shots on goal but neither team could light the lamp. During the shootout, Paul Byron tallied the only goal for either side to give Montreal the victory. Carey Price made 32 saves in the win for the Canadiens, who outshot Toronto 42-37 in the game.

Buffalo Sabres Seek Redemption After First Loss of Season

Buffalo couldn’t put away Columbus when they had their chances and it ended up costing them a point in an overtime defeat. The Sabres try to bounce back and avenge their first loss of the season as they return home. Buffalo is seventh in the league in goals for as they average 4.33 goals per game so far this season. The Sabres are tied for seventh in the league in goals-against as they allow 2.33 goals per contest this year. Buffalo’s power play has been clicking in the early going as the team is first in the league by cashing in 60 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Sabres are just 21st in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 70 percent of their shorthanded situations thus far.

The Sabres battled but in the end, couldn’t come up with the victory on the road against the Blue Jackets. Buffalo was outshot 14-6 in the opening period and trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes of play. The Sabres were outshot 15-7 in the second period of play but they scored twice to tie the game after two periods. Marcus Johansson scored his first of the year on the power play at 1:32 off assists from Colin Miller and Conor Sheary to make it a 2-1 game. Jeff Skinner tied the game at the 11:58 mark with his second of the year: the goal was unassisted. In the final period, the Sabres were outshot 14-5 but both teams scored once to leave the game tied to force overtime. After falling behind 3-2, Victor Olofsson scored his third of the year, on the power play, at 18:46 off assists from Rasmus Dahlin and Sam Reinhart to send the game to the extra session. In overtime, Buffalo gave up the lone shot and it ended up costing them the game as it found the back of the net. Linus Ullmark made 40 saves for the Sabres in the loss as they were outshot 44-18 in the contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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This one is going to be a clash between a couple of teams that are off to stronger starts than likely expected at this point of the season. Montreal showed grit by rallying from three goals down in the third period to beat Toronto in a shootout Saturday night. Buffalo was fortunate to get a point against the Blue Jackets considering how badly they were outshot in the contest. The Sabres have been blitzing teams on the power play so far this year and facing a Montreal team that has had some issues in that department is going to be a factor here. Give Buffalo the advantage thanks to solid special teams play and home ice advantage.

Prediction: Buffalo Sabres -122

Full-Game Total Pick

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We've seen both teams put together some solid offensive numbers in the opening week of the season. Montreal is coming off a six-goal showing against Toronto (though only five count on the scoresheet) and Buffalo has scored at least three goals in each of their first three games. It is important to note that Montreal's big outburst came against a Toronto team playing the second game of a back to back and their third game in four nights. Meanwhile, Buffalo's seven goal outburst against New Jersey came against a Devils team logging their second game in as many nights. With both teams having a little rest, can the offenses keep up their torrid pace?

The under is 7-1 in the Canadiens' last 8 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game, 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 4-1 in their last five on three days of rest. With both teams having a chance to get a breather, you have to think that the end to end scoring opportunities aren't as prevalent as the teams are better defensively. That helps keep this one under the total.

Prediction: Under 5.5
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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.