Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#463 Buffalo Sabres vs.
#464 N.Y. Rangers
Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 6:05pm EDT
Madison Square Garden, New York
Written by Valdis Pans

This article covers a past game!

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Still battling for a place in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New York Rangers (5th in East Division) will host the Buffalo Sabres (8th in the East), who have already been eliminated from the postseason contention.

Sabres Stun Boston

The Buffalo Sabres (13-28-7) rounded off their three-game home set against the Boston Bruins with a victory after following up Tuesday’s 2-0 shutout loss and Thursday’s 5-1 setback with a 6-4 triumph at KeyBank Center on Friday. The Sabres scored five consecutive strikes, including two in each of the last two periods, to take a 5-1 lead before the visitors tallied three times in a span of 5:06 themselves, only for Sam Reinhart (20 goals, 33 points this year) to finish things off with an empty-netter 42 seconds from time to complete his fourth career hat trick. The win ended Buffalo’s 10-game losing streak against the Bruins (0-8-2), whom it hadn’t beaten since Dec. 16, 2018.

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen started his NHL career with a 1-0-0 record on top of a 4.03 GAA and a .900 save percentage after making his league debut with a 36-save performance on Friday. Dustin Tokarski (2-7-2 this year with a 3.23 GAA and a .914 save percentage), though, is likely to slot back into the crease for Buffalo on Sunday, despite having recorded a 0-2-1 previous total against the New York Rangers with a 4.43 GAA and a .884 save percentage. The Sabres, meanwhile, are 4th in least goals scored per game this season (2.40), 4th in most goals conceded on average (3.38), 13th in power play (20.6%) and 16th in penalty kill (79.5%).

Rangers End Losing Run

The New York Rangers (24-18-6) snapped a two-game skid (0-2-0) after splitting their two-date home stretch against the Philadelphia Flyers, following up Thursday's 3-2 defeat with a 4-1 victory at Madison Square Garden on Friday. The Blueshirts were outshot 27-24 and won just 40% of all the face-offs, but killed both of their penalties, including a 5-on-3 for 1:21, and went 1-for-2 with the man-advantage, eventually banking two strikes in both the first and the last periods. Chris Kreider (20 goals, 29 points this year), Pavel Buchnevich (20 goals, 42 points), Alexis Lafreniere (9 goals, 16 points) and Filip Chytil (8 goals, 19 points) all scored for New York, which is 5-2-0 in its last seven outings.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev (8-5-2 on the season with a 2.67 GAA and a .906 save percentage) stopped 26 shots on Friday, but is expected to vacate the crease for Igor Shesterkin ahead of Sunday. Shesterkin has gone 13-11-3 for the current campaign with a 2.45 GAA and a .920 save percentage, and is 3-0-1 against the Buffalo Sabres in past meetings with a 1.90 GAA and a .921 save percentage. The Rangers, meanwhile, are 7th in most goals scored per game this year (3.27), 9th in least goals conceded on average (2.63), 15th in power play (20.5%) and 4th best in penalty kill (84.1%).

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Despite having been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoff race, the Sabres have definitely been holding their own lately, going 7-5-3 in their last 15 outings, beating the likes of the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins along the way. The team has, however, managed to follow up a victory with another win just once on the last 10 occasions and will be dropping by Madison Square Garden, where it has already recorded six defeats on the past seven tries. The Rangers, who are sitting six points outside the playoff bubble in the East Division, albeit with two extra games played, have been super solid on their own ice, banking seven triumphs in the previous nine games. Each of their last seven wins, meanwhile, have all been by a margin of at least two goals.

Prediction: New York Rangers -1.5 (-120)

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Six of the last seven meetings between the Sabres and the Rangers have all finished with a count of 3-2. So, expecting another low-scoring bout between the pair is definitely not the worst of options! After scoring five snipes in a game, Buffalo has already cruised below the set goal-mark in five of the past six following fixtures, while 13 of the previous 18 contests of the Blueshirts against teams with a winning percentage below the .400 mark have all witnessed just a minimal amount of strikes, as have five of their most recent eight matchups played on a Sunday.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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