Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#21 Buffalo Sabres vs.
#22 Boston Bruins
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
TD Garden, Boston
Written by Valdis Pans

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A two-game losing skid takes the Boston Bruins (4th in East Division) to a domestic matchup against the Buffalo Sabres (8th in the East), who have won four of their last seven contests following a record-breaking 18-game losing run.

Sabres Stun Philadelphia

The Buffalo Sabres (10-25-6) snapped a two-game losing skid (0-2-0) after beating the Philadelphia Flyers with a score of 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday. The Sabres scored two consecutive goals in the second period to tie the game at 2-2 and three snipes in succession in the final 3:03 of the contest after the hosts took a 3-2 lead, with Jeff Skinner (5 goals, 8 points this year) equalizing at 3-3 and Rasmus Asplund (5 goals, 6 points) getting Buffalo 4-3 ahead in a span of 25 seconds. Sam Reinhart (14 goals, 26 points), Arttu Ruotsalainen (1 goal, 1 point) and Casey Mittelstadt (6 goals, 12 points) also scored for the Sabres, who are 4-2-2 in their last eight overall matchups.

Goalie Linus Ullmark made 40 saves on Sunday and has now gone 9-6-3 for the season with a 2.64 GAA and a .917 save percentage. He has collected a 1-5-0 past record against the Boston Bruins with a 2.56 GAA and a .920 save percentage. The Sabres, meanwhile, are scoring the 3rd lowest quantity of goals per game this season (2.32), while allowing the 3rd highest amount on the defensive end (3.46). The team is 13th in power play with a 21.6% success rate and 21st in penalty kill with 77.6% effectiveness.

Bruins Get Thrashed By Caps

The Boston Bruins (21-12-6) were beaten for the second straight game (0-2-0) after embarking on a five-game homestand with a 8-1 battering at the hands of the Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Sunday. The B’s outshot the visitors 35-33 and went 1-for-4 with the man-advantage, but killed just half of their six penalties and conceded three goals in each of the first two periods before tallying their sole marker of the contest three minutes into the third frame, giving up two more strikes subsequently. Craig Smith (8 goals, 22 points this year) lit the lamp for Boston, which has dropped three of its past four domestic decisions (1-2-1).

Goalie Dan Vladar stopped 25 shots on Sunday to take his current performance total to 2-2-1 for the season with a 3.40 GAA and a .886 save percentage. He has posted a 1-0-0 past record versus Buffalo with a 2.01 GAA and a .926 save percentage, while Tuukka Rask (8-4-2 on the year with a 2.40 GAA and a .907 save percentage), who could return from a back injury on Tuesday, has registered a 17-7-1 past tally against the Sabres with a 2.08 GA and a .933 save percentage. The Bruins are 12th in least goals scored per game in 2020-21 (2.72), 9th in least goals allowed on average (2.62), 9th in power play (23.3%) and top of the league in penalty kill (85.4%).

Best Bets for this Game

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Boston’s high-profile acquisition of Taylor Hall in a trade with Buffalo has somewhat taken the spotlight off the Bruins' Sunday’s 8-1 unsightly home defeat to the Washington Capitals. Still, the facts remain unchanged. Washington tore Boston’s young defense apart. The team is still struggling to find a cohesive rhythm when playing on own ice, while the absence of goalies Tuukka Rask (back injury) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID-19) is definitely being felt. Rask might return to the crease on Tuesday. But don’t expect the Bruins to completely thrash the Sabres in their upcoming matchup. Since ending the longest losing skid in the shootout era (0-15-3), Buffalo has regained its competitive edge and has delivered quite a few confident performances, winning four of its last seven fixtures, losing by more than one goal just once in its last nine contests overall. Granted, the Sabres are riding a seven-game misery run against Boston, but have been beaten just by a single snipe in five of those outings. Expect another tight contest!

Prediction: Buffalo Sabres +1.5 (+105)

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This series has not been rich in snipes lately, with 20 of the last 26 overall encounters between the Sabres and the Bruins, including their most recent four meetings in Boston, all cruising below the six-goal mark. Five of the past six contests of Buffalo against teams with a winning record have also posted just a minimal amount of markers, as have seven of its previous nine outings played on Tuesdays. Twelve of the last 17 domestic matchups of the B’s, meanwhile, have all ended up on the low-scoring side. So, do bank on this one to be decided within the limits of just five tallies once again!

Prediction: Under 5.5
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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