Buffalo (18-32-11; 36-25 ATS; 27-31-3 O/U) vs. Washington (34-20-7; 29-32 ATS; 35-25-1 O/U)
The Washington Capitals will host the Buffalo Sabres in an inter-conference clash Saturday night from the Capital One Arena. The Sabres recorded a 3-2 overtime win in Detroit on Thursday night, and the Capitals are coming off a 3-2 road loss to the Panthers.The Sabres defeated Washington in the first meeting, and the Capitals replied with a 3-2 win in the second matchup.
Sabres Net OT Winner with One Second Remaining
The Buffalo Sabres scored with one second remaining in overtime in their 3-2 win against the Red Wings on Thursday night. Evander Kane found the back of the net for the second straight game in the victory. The 26-year old left-winger has only notched four goals this month, and he now has 20 goals and 20 assists on the season. Kane has collected 20 points in 29 career games against the Capitals. Ryan O’Reilly was held pointless in Thursday’s win, however he has been playing well, amassing seven points in his last six games. Rasmus Ristolainen played a big role in Thursday’s win with one goal and one assist. The 23-year old defensemen has notched seven points in his last eight games, and now has 29 points in 52 games on the season. The Sabres own a 4-5-1 record in their last ten games and they continue to play without their scoring leader Jack Eichel. Buffalo is scoring an average of 2.4 goals per game, ranking them last in the NHL.
The Sabres continue to rotate between Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson in goal. Johnson is struggling, carrying a 3.41 GAA, while Lehner possesses a 2.95 GAA and a 12-22-8 record on the season. Buffalo is conceding an average of 3.3 goals per game, placing them 28th in the NHL.
Capitals Squander Late Lead in Loss to Panthers
The Washington Capitals squandered a late lead in their tough 3-2 road loss to the Panthers on Thursday night. Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin extended his point streak to three games with an assist in the defeat. The 12-year veteran left-winger is on a roll, recording ten points in his last seven games, and he is now up to 68 points in 61 games on the season. Ovechkin has tallied 44 points in 44 career games against the Sabres. Evgeny Kuznetsov was held pointless for the second straight game on Thursday night. The crafty playmaker has only tallied one point in his last five games played, and he now has 55 points in 61 games. The Capitals have dropped three out of their last four games as their defensive play and goaltending has not been sharp. They are scoring an average of three goals per game, ranking them 10th in the NHL.
The Capitals are expected to turn to Braden Holtby between the pipes in this one. The 28-year old goaltender has not been sharp as of late, and he now owns a 2.95 GAA and a .909 save percentage to go with a 28-13-4 record. Washington is allowing an average of three goals per game, placing them 21st in the NHL.
The Buffalo Sabres are:
- over is 5-1 in their last 6 games against a team with a winning record.
- over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 Saturday games.
The Washington Capitals are:
- over is 4-0-1 in their last 5 home games.
- over is 9-3-1 in their last 13 games overall.
- over is 10-3 in their last 13 games when their opponents allows two or fewer goals in their previous game.
I am going with the over in this contest. The Capitals are not playing well defensively as of late, allowing an average of 3.5 goals in their last ten games, and Holtby has not been sharp in net. The Sabres are averaging a solid 3.6 goals in their last five road games, and I am confident they can find the back of the net. Furthermore, the Capitals should be able to have a productive night on their home ice against a weak defensive Sabres team that has allowed three or more goals in seven out of their last nine games.