The Boston Bruins will host the Buffalo Sabres in a divisional battle Sunday evening from the TD Garden. The Sabres defeated the Coyotes 3-1 on Thursday before playing in Washington on Saturday, and the Bruins are coming off a 4-3 road loss to the Penguins on Friday night. The Bruins notched a 4-0 road win over the Sabres in October.
Eichel Continues to Shine for Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres have countered a five-game losing streak by winning two straight games heading into Saturday’s game in Washington. Sabres’ captain Jack Eichel extended his point streak to four games with his 29th assist of the season in Buffalo’s 3-1 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night. The 22-year old center continues to produce at a high level, registering seven points in his last four games, and he is up to 39 points on the season. Eichel has seven points in 11 career games against the Bruins.
Jeff Skinner continues to find the back of the net, notching two goals in his last two games. The eight-year veteran left-winger is having a tremendous season in his first year with the Sabres, collecting 22 goals along with 10 assists. The Sabres hold an 8-6-2 road record on the season heading into Saturday’s game.
Tage Thompson's always had offensive instincts, now he's focused on rounding out his whole game.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) December 14, 2018
Buffalo is expected to give the nod in net to Linus Ullmark in the second game of a back-to-back set. The 25-year old goalie owns a weak 3.03 GAA along with a .912 save percentage and a 6-1-3 record on the season. The Sabres are scoring an average of three goals, ranking them 18th in the NHL. Buffalo is playing decent defense, and they are conceding an average of 2.9 goals, pegging them 12th in the NHL.
Bruins Three Game Winning Streak Snapped
The Boston Bruins are back on home ice where they stand at 11-3 on the season. The Bruins comeback attempt came up short in a 4-3 road loss to the Penguins on Friday night. David Krejci extended his point streak to five games with his fifth goal of the season in Friday’s loss. The 32-year old center is red-hot, collecting eight points in his last five games overall, and he is up to 27 points in 32 games on the season.
Bruins’ point leader David Pastrnak is also on a roll, netting nine points in his last five games which included his 18th assist of the season on Friday. The 22-year old left-winger is having another fantastic season, registering a total of 39 points. Pastrnak has eight points in 12 career games against the Sabres. Boston holds a 5-5 record in their last 10 games overall.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 15, 2018
The Bruins could go with either Tuukka Rask or Jaroslav Halak in the first game of a back-to-back set. Both goalies are playing well. Rask features a 2.53 GAA and an 8-6-2 record, while Halak holds a strong 2.40 GAA paired with a 9-5-2 record. Boston is scoring an average of 2.7 goals, ranking them 27th in the NHL. They are holding opponents to an average of 2.6 goals, good for second in the NHL.
The Boston Bruins are:
- 37-14 in their last 51 home games.
The Buffalo Sabres are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Eastern Conference.
- 3-10 in their last 13 Sunday games.
- 8-15 in their last 25 games when playing their fourth game in six nights.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with the Bruins in this contest. The Bruins have won three out of their last four games, and they are tough to beat on home ice, winning 11 of their 14 home games on the season.
Furthermore, the Sabres have dropped three consecutive road games heading into Saturday’s action, and they haven’t been scoring many goals, averaging only 2.8 goals in their last 10 games overall. Also, the Sabres are playing their third game in four days, and they are also playing on zero rest.
Prediction: Boston Bruins
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a solid play in this matchup. The Bruins have heated up offensively, scoring a combined 15 goals over their last four games, and the over is 4-1 in their last five games when playing on one day of rest.
Furthermore, while the Sabres haven’t been scoring a ton of goals, they should have some offensive success against a Bruins team playing without defensemen Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller. Also, the over is 12-5 in the Sabres’ last 17 road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the Bruins team total is a solid play. The Bruins have scored at least three goals in three out of their last four games which included six goals against the Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak and David Krejci are both red-hot, and I expect them to have another productive performance.
Prediction: Bruins Team Total: Over
Half-Time Total Bet
I expect very little scoring in the opening frame. The Sabres best defensive period occurs in the first where they have only allowed 29 goals on the season. Also, the Bruins best defensive period also takes place in the first where they have only conceded 21 goals on the year.
Prediction: First Period Total: Under