Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#31 Buffalo Sabres 6 vs.
#32 Edmonton Oilers -180
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 8:05pm EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton
Written by Valdis Pans

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Having collected defeats versus Calgary and Vancouver, the Buffalo Sabres (3rd in Atlantic Division) will round of their Western Canada road trip with a trip to Edmonton, where the local Oilers (1st in Pacific) have just defeated Los Angeles…

Sabres Lose Second Straight

The current three-date Western Canada road-trek of the Buffalo Sabres (13-11-6) went 0-1-1 after the first two fixtures following a 6-5 overtime defeat to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena yesterday. The Sabres trailed to tie the game on three separate occasions, with Marcus Johansson (5 goals, 12 points this year) netting the 5-5 equalizer with 59 seconds remaining in regulation before the hosts grabbed the win at 3:21 of the extra session during power play. Buffalo has now dropped five of its past seven decisions (2-2-3) and is 5-8-3 when playing on the road.

Goalie Carter Hutton made 24 saves in Vancouver, taking his current performance status to 6-5-4 for the season with a 3.05 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He has recorded a 0-2-1 past tally versus Edmonton with a 4.44 GAA and a .847 save percentage, while Linus Ullmark (7-6-2 on the year with a 2.94 GAA and a .914 save percentage) has gone 0-1-0 in his past two appearances against the Oilers with a 4.79 GAA and a .818 save percentage. The Sabres are 14th in both most goals scored per game (3.07) and most conceded on average (3.07), 17th in power play (18.4%) and 2nd from the bottom in penalty kill (73.6%).

Oilers Edge Out Los Angeles

The Edmonton Oilers (18-10-3) regained the top spot of the Pacific Division after notching a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place on Friday. Leon Draisaitl (19 goals, 53 points this year) and Alex Chiasson (3 goals, 10 points) scored first-period power-play strikes before the Kings only managed to respond with a single marker in the final third, despite outshooting the Oilers 36-20. Edmonton has won two of its last three contests (2-1-0), but has still lost three of its past five (2-3-0) after going 3-1-0 in four games prior. The team is 8-4-2 when playing on own ice.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen stopped 35 shots versus L.A. to take his current performance tally to 11-3-2 for the season with a 2.53 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He is 2-0-0 versus Buffalo historically with a 3.74 GAA and a .905 save percentage, while Mike Smith (7-7-1 on the year with a 2.88 GAA and a .905 save percentage) has registered a 5-6-3 career total against the Sabres with a 2.82 GAA and a .913 save percentage. The Oilers, meanwhile, are 15th in most goals netted per game (3.00), 13th in least goals allowed on average (2.87), top of the league in power play (32.2%) and 2nd best in penalty kill (86.6%).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though the Sabres dropped a 6-5 overtime decision against the Vancouver Canucks in their previous outing, the performance of the team was definitely much better than that of the Oilers in Edmonton’s 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Currently ranking 1st in power play and 2nd in penalty kill in the whole league, the Oilers are heavily relying on their special teams. If the Sabres can keep themselves out of the box, their 5-on-5 play is undeniably set to end their Western Canada road trek on a high. The underdog has already won the very last six meetings between the two sides, with Buffalo beating their opponent on two of the last three occasions in Edmonton. The Oilers have struggled with consistency, going just 1-5 in their previous six fixtures following a win. So, back the Sabres here!

Prediction: Buffalo Sabres (+150)

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Four of the past six head-to-head matchups between Buffalo and Edmonton have delivered no less than seven markers, averaging 7.75 goals per game. So, don’t be too surprised to witness another high-scoring clash here! Four of the previous five road outings of the Sabres have already seen plenty of scoring, as have nine of their last 12 against teams from the Pacific Division. The Oilers, meanwhile, have gone past the set goal-mark in four of their last five domestic games.

Prediction: Over 6
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Written By Valdis Pans

Valdis got his first ever article published when he was 13, and has rarely stopped. He has worked for FHM, MTV Baltics and has done loads of freelance (from columns for Cosmopolitan magazine to helping with organization of Macy Gray's shows in the Northern Europe). Speaks five different languages, loves pizza, American Horror Story and pipe organ music, and knows European soccer better than dates of his family members' birthdays. Is an avid fan of ice-hockey too. He is a Latvian after all...