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National Hockey League action on Thursday evening and the Metro Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Pittsburgh Penguins grapple with the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. The Penguins enter this game off a 5-3 home win over the Capitals, while the Sabes are off a 2-0 home loss to the Stars.
Pens Cool Off The Caps
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had their inconsistent moments this year, but they are playing well at the moment as they come in having won five of their last six games. In their last game, they took down the red-hot Capitals by a score of 5-3 at home. The Pens now trail the Caps by just four points in the Metro Division, but they also have just a four-point lead over both the Blue Jackets and Canadiens, who are tied for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pens trailed the Caps 2-0 before rallying for the win. Scoring in the win was Jake Guentzel, which was his 35th of the year, Sidney Crosby, who scored twice and now has 32 on the year, Phil Kessel, which was his 23rd and Jared McCann, which was his 17th.
Come for the milestone.
Stay for Mr. Malkin's tears of joy. pic.twitter.com/Xi2752hm9k
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 13, 2019
Grabbing the win over the Caps was Matt Murray, who stopped 38 of the 41 shots that he faced to move to 24-14 with a 2.78 GAA on the year, while out on the road he has gone 13-6 with a 2.36 GAA. In his career, he has gone 3-1 with a 3.57 GAA against the Sabres. The Penguins have gone 17-18 on the road and they have averaged 3.40 gpg and have allowed 2.91 gpg in those games. Pittsburgh enters this game ranked 5th in the league in power play conversions at 25.3% and 18th in penalty kill at 80.2%.
Where’s The Offense?
The Buffalo Sabres continue to fall from playoff contention and now they can’t score. Buffalo enters this game off a 2-0 home loss to the Stars and now they have been shutout in their last two games. The Sabres have lost their last five games overall and they are currently sitting 12 points out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Losing Jack Eichel to suspension didn’t help in the loss to the Stars. He and his 25 goals on the year will be back on the ice on Saturday. It will be buffaloe’s 8th straight year that they have missed the postseason.
Absorbing the loss to the Stars was Linus Ullmark, who allowed two goals on 27 shot attempts to fall to 14-15 with a 3.10 GAA on the year. Carter Hutton is slated to get the start and he has gone 16-24 with a 2.82 GAA on the year, including 11-8 with a 2.41 GOO here at home. In his career, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.36 GAA against the Penguins. Buffalo has gone 19-15 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.03 gpg and have allowed 3.02 gpg in those games. The Sabres check in ranked 18th in power play conversions at 18.5% and 6th in penalty kill at 82.4%.
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The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will look for the Penguins to take this one. The Pens have been playing well of late as they have won five of their last six games, while the Sabres have been heading the other way as they have lost their last five games in a row. The Buffalo offense has gone dormant and Matt Murray has gone 13-6 with a 2.36 GAA on the road. Take the Penguins in this one.
Prediction: Pittsburgh -190
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect the Penguins to score a few in this one, but the Sabres will not contribute enough for the game to go Over the total. Buffalo hasn’t scored in two straight games and Matt Murray has a 2.36 GAA on the road for the year. The Pens have averaged 3.40 gpg on the road, but Buffalo has allowed just 3.02 gpg at home. Take the Under in this one.
Prediction: Under 6.5