Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#39 Minnesota Wild -115 vs.
#40 Buffalo Sabres 6
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
KeyBank Center, Buffalo
Written by Chris Kubala

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#39 Minnesota
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It’s an interconference tilt on the ice in Western New York. The Minnesota Wild is on the road as they make the trip to face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. Minnesota comes in off a 4-3 overtime loss at home to Carolina Saturday afternoon in their previous contest. Buffalo was dropped 4-1 on the road by Chicago in their previous game Sunday night. The teams split their two meetings a season ago with Buffalo skating off with a 5-4 shootout victory at home in the most recent matchup on February 5, 2019.

Minnesota Wild Looking to Get Back on Track

Minnesota suffered their sixth loss in the last nine games as they were upended in overtime at home by Carolina Saturday. The Wild enters this game in the basement of the Central Division, nine points behind Winnipeg for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 13 back of St. Louis for the division lead. Minnesota is a dismal tied for 25th in the league in goals for as they average 2.65 goals per contest. The Wild is 24th in the league in goals against by giving up 3.45 goals per game on the year. Minnesota is 18th in power play success as they convert 17.7 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Wild is tied for 9th in penalty killing as they have successfully gotten through 83.6 percent of their shorthanded situations.

In their last game, the Wild had their chances but ended up falling short in overtime against Carolina. Minnesota owned a 10-9 edge in shots in the opening period of the contest but found themselves in a 2-0 hole after 20 minutes of play. During the second period, the Wild held a 15-7 edge in shots and a 3-1 advantage on the scoreboard to tie the game after 40 minutes. Luke Kunin scored his fourth of the year off assists from Jonas Brodin and Jordan Greenway at 4:27 to make it a 2-1 game. After giving up a goal to trail 3-1, Zach Parise scored his sixth goal of the year, a shorthanded marker, at 15:43 off assists from Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu to make it 3-2. Carson Soucy netted the equalizer with his first of the year off an assist from Victor Rask at 17:04 of the period. In the third period, the Wild was outshot 11-9 with neither team lighting the lamp to send the game to overtime. The extra session saw the shots even at one but Carolina’s found the back of the net, sending Minnesota to the OT loss: they did earn a point in the game. Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves for the Wild, who owned a 35-28 edge in shots in the game.

Buffalo Sabres Seeking to Right the Ship

Buffalo dropped to 2-6-2 in their last 10 games as they were unable to take down Chicago in the Windy City on the second night of a back to back set Sunday night. The Sabres enter this one fourth in the Atlantic Division and stand two points behind the Panthers for the final guaranteed playoff spot and six back of division leading Boston. Buffalo is tied for 19th in the league in goals for as they average 2.90 goals per game so far this season. The Sabres are 12th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.90 goals per contest this year. Buffalo’s power play has been above average this season as the team is 11th in the league by cashing in 21.5 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Sabres are just 26th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 74.6 percent of their shorthanded situations thus far.

In their last game, Buffalo simply ran out of steam in Chicago after knocking off Ottawa at home Saturday night. The Sabres held a 13-10 edge in shots in the opening period of play but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of action. In the second period, Buffalo had an 11-10 advantage in shots on goal and gave up the lone goal of the stanza to trail 2-0 after 40 minutes of play. The third period of action saw the Sabres hold a 10-7 advantage in shots but were outscored 2-1 to put the game away. After spotting Chicago two more goals to extend their edge to 4-0, Jack Eichel scored his 13th goal of the season, unassisted, at 9:39 of the third to break up the shutout. Buffalo would get no closer as they ended up with the defeat. Carter Hutton made 23 saves in the loss as the Sabres owned a 34-27 edge in shots on goal. Linus Ullmark is expected to get the start in goal for this contest.

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Both teams have struggled of late. Minnesota has dropped six of nine while Buffalo has totaled only six points in the standings in their last 10 games after starting the year 8-1-1. The Sabres are at home but they are playing their third game in four nights here, which is going to take a toll. We saw Buffalo struggle against Chicago Sunday night in the second game of a back to back situation. Minnesota has had a little bit of rest and that works in their favor. With Buffalo slumping badly, give the slight edge to the Wild on the road here.

Prediction: Minnesota Wild +105

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Both teams have had their struggles at putting the puck in the net this season. There is plenty of work to be done on that end, especially for Minnesota. The Wild is averaging only 2.15 goals per game on the road this season, which is far worse than their home mark of 3.57 goals per game at the Xcel Energy Center. Buffalo has been decent at home offensively, averaging 3.40 goals per game on the season. Eichel has scored the last five goals for the Sabres over the past two games: can someone else step up and deliver for the team?

The under is 4-1 in the Wild's last five games against Atlantic Division opponents. Buffalo has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five overall, 5-1 in their last six games against Central Division teams and 6-3 in their last nine overall. Look for this one to be a 3-1 or 3-2 type of game, which ends up under the number at the final horn.

Prediction: Under 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.