The Edmonton Oilers face the Buffalo Sabres with both teams looking to improve on strong seasons. The Oilers have a 34-22-8 record and are in fourth place in the Pacific Division while the Sabres have a 32-25-4 record and are in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and only a few points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams look to improve in the playoff picture and the upcoming game looks to be a great one as a result.
Oilers have been carried be remarkable offenseThe Oilers are having a great season with their offense leading the way, scoring 3.88 goals per game including 16 goals in the last three games. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have scored 93 goals and 125 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has also been great. Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, and Ryan McLeod have combined for 69 goals and 100 assists while defensemen Darnell Nurse and Evan Bouchard have added nine goals and 47 assists from the point to open up the offense.
The offense has been great but the defense has struggled, allowing 3.31 goals per game with 10 goals in the last two games. Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci have combined for 6.0 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to carry the puck into the offensive zone and easily find open shots on the net. The one bright spot has been the play of goaltender Stuart Skinner who has a .912 save percentage and a 2.88 goals-against average on 1119 shots with 7.2 goals saved above average.
Sabres have been led by great offenseThe Sabres are having a strong season with their offense carrying them and scoring 3.74 goals per game including 25 goals in the last six games. Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner have scored 68 goals and 76 assists to lead the top line but the entire offense has been great. Victor Olofsson, Dylan Cozens, and Casey Mittelstadt have combined for 56 goals and 68 assists while defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power have added 18 goals and 68 assists from the point to put the offense over the top.
The offense has been great but the defense has been awful, allowing 3.56 goals per game with 15 goals in the last three games. Dahlin and Power have combined for 6.7 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to find open shots on the net at will. In addition, goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has struggled with a .891 save percentage and a 3.63 goals-against average on 846 shots with -11.7 goals saved above average.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a great game between two great teams. The Oilers look to bounce back from a rough loss but the Sabres look to step up and control this game on their home ice. The Sabres, who average 3.74 goals per game, should pile on the goals against an Oilers defense that allows 3.31 goals per game with Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner, and the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and creating open shots with effective puck movement. The Sabres should limit the Oilers' offense with Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to make plenty of big saves. The Sabres should win the game and provide great odds in the process as home Underdogs.
Take the Sabres money line as home Underdogs.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have been led by their offenses and the upcoming game should reflect that with both forward units stepping up and finding the back of the net throughout the game. The Oilers, who average 3.88 goals per game, should find the back of the net at will against the Sabres, who allow 3.56 goals per game, with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and creating open shots with quick passes near the net. The Sabres, who have scored 25 goals in the last six games, should run up the score against the Oilers, who have allowed 10 goals in the last two games, with Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, and the rest of the forward unit crashing the net on the rush and creating open shots with effective puck movement while defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power pick apart the Oilers defense from the point. The Over should cover in a high-scoring game dominated by the two offenses.
Take the Over on 6.5 goals.