It’s a matchup of Atlantic Division teams on the ice in the Motor City. The Buffalo Sabres are on the road as they make the trip to face the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night. Buffalo was at home against Montreal Friday night in the front half of a back-to-back set. The Sabres were dropped 5-1 at home by Boston Wednesday night in their most recent contest. Detroit dropped St. Louis 4-2 at home in their most recent game Wednesday night. The Sabres own a 5-2-3 edge in the last 10 meetings between the teams though the Red Wings earned a 4-3 overtime road win in the first meeting this season on November 6.
Buffalo Sabres Looking to Get Back to Early Season SuccessBuffalo was in action at home Friday night so they play the second game of a back-to-back situation here. The Sabres dropped to 2-9-1 in their last 12 games as they were upended at home by the Bruins. They entered Friday sixth in the Atlantic Division, 15 points behind the Panthers for the top spot. In the wild card race, the Sabres were six points behind the Penguins for the second wild card spot. For the season, Buffalo is 18th in offense as they are averaging 2.79 goals per game on the season. The Sabres are 28th in the league in goals against as they allow 3.47 goals per contest this year. Buffalo is 11th in power play success as they cash in 21.2% of their chances with the man advantage. The Sabres are 26th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 76.9% of their shorthanded situations on the year.
On Wednesday, the Sabres started strong but they were drubbed from that point as they wound up being beaten soundly. The opening period saw Buffalo outshot 22-8 and they trailed 4-1 after 20 minutes of action. Kyle Okposo opened the scoring with his fifth of the year at 10:56 off an assist from Rasmus Asplund. The wheels fell off after that as the Sabres allowed four goals in a 5:31 span to trail by three after the opening period. In the second period, the Sabres held a 14-7 edge in shots on goal with neither side scoring in the stanza, leaving it 4-1 after 40 minutes. The third period saw Buffalo outshot 18-3 and outscored 1-0 to take the loss. Aaron Dell stopped 18 of 22 shots before getting pulled after the opening period. Dustin Tokarski kicked out 24 of 25 shots in relief as the Sabres were outshot 47-25 in the game. Dell is expected to get the start in goal for this contest.
Detroit Red Wings Try to Earn Second Straight WinDetroit dumped St. Louis at home in an old Norris Division matchup to snap a four-game losing skid Wednesday night. The Red Wings entered Friday fourth in the Atlantic Division, 10 points behind the Panthers for the division lead. They were one point behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card spot. Detroit is 19th in the league in goals per game as they average 2.76 goals a night this season. The Red Wings are 26th in the league in goals against as they allow an average of 3.29 goals a game. Detroit is 25th in the league in power play success as they cash in on 15.8% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Red Wings are 23rd in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 78.1% of their shorthanded situations on the year.
Against the Blues, Detroit got some solid work in their own end along with some timely offense to get back in the win column after a four-game slide. The Red Wings saw the shots even at 11 in the opening period of play and skated off even at one after 20 minutes of action. After falling behind 1-0, Lucas Raymond tied the game with his eighth of the season at 13:48 off assists from Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi. The second period saw Detroit outshot 11-3 but scored the only goal of the stanza to lead 2-1 at the second intermission. Larkin gave the Red Wings the lead with his 10th of the year at 7:45 off assists from Robby Fabbri and Nick Leddy. The third period saw Detroit outshot 15-9 but they outscored St. Louis 2-1 to earn the victory. After the Blues tied the game, Adam Erne gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish with his fourth of the year at 4:38 off assists from Pius Suter and Vladislav Namestnikov. Fabbri closed the scoring with his fourth of the season at 18:45 off an assist from Filip Hronek into an empty net. Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves for the Red Wings, who were outshot 37-23, in the win. Thomas Greiss is expected to be between the pipes in this one.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Buffalo is playing the second game of a back-to-back, their third game in four nights and their fifth game in seven nights here. That’s a lot of hockey in a compressed period of time for a team that is struggling right now. Detroit comes in off a win at home and they had a couple days off to rest and prepare for this game. It’s hard to have a ton of faith in the Sabres right now given their struggles when it comes to putting games in the win column. Going on the road on short notice doesn’t instill a ton of confidence for them here either. Give the upper hand to the Red Wings here as they make it back-to-back wins.
Full-Game Total Pick
Buffalo has seen the over post a 10-7-2 mark on the season despite a goaltending pairing of Anderson and Dustin Tokarski. The Sabres have slumped on both ends of the ice after their strong start and the team has to try and find a way to turn things around. Buffalo sees an average of 6.26 goals per game, a number that trends down slightly to 6.25 goals per game in their home contests. Detroit comes into this game having seen the under post a 10-10-1 mark in their games in regard to the total this season. The Red Wings have seen an average total of 6.05 goals per game this season with their number on home ice below that number as we’ve seen an average of 5.60 goals a night in those outings. With the Sabres gassed and the Red Wings up and down, this one winds up under the number.