The Buffalo Sabres (+120) and their explosive offense welcome the New York Rangers (-140) and their steadfast defense at KeyBank Center on Friday. The total is 6.5 (O: -110, U: -110)New York (44-21-10) is playing on back-to-back days after suffering a 2-1 loss against the Devils yesterday, ending a streak of three wins in a row.
The Rangers committed only two penalties in the game, yet still conceded a power play goal. Chris Kreider scored the only goal in regulation for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin had a terrific performance with 29 saves (.935%) in the loss.
Buffalo (35-31-7) fell 4-3 (SO) to the Canadiens on Monday. Lukas Rousek, Riley Stillman, and JJ Peterka scored one apiece for the Sabres. Rousek added an assist to lead the team in scoring. Eric Comrie had a great performance with 38 saves (.926%) in the loss.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Rangers won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 2-1 (OT) victory on March 11, their sixth straight win against Buffalo. Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin were on the scoresheet for New York. Jeff Skinner scored Buffalo’s only goal. Shesterkin got the win, saving 32 of 33 shots (.969%).
New York is averaging 3.33 goals per game for the season, 12th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Sabres team that is allowing 3.67 goals a game (29th).
Meanwhile, Buffalo has found the net 3.56 times a game on average, third in the league, and will be looking to overwhelm the Rangers’ stout defense, which is holding opponents to 2.67 goals per game (5th).
The Sabres’ 24.28% power play percentage ranks seventh in the league, while the Rangers are 10th with a conversion rate of 22.47%. Buffalo has been less successful at penalty killing, as the hosts own the league’s third-lowest PK% at 72.82%. New York’s 80.00% ranks 14th in the NHL.
With 84 and 82 points this season, Panarin and Mika Zibanejad have been the top skaters for the Rangers. In the net, Shesterkin (34-13-7) is New York’s top goaltender. He has a 2.53 GAA and a .914% save percentage. Tage Thompson leads the Sabres in scoring with 89 points. He has 44 goals (6th) and 45 assists.
Craig Anderson (10-11-2) has the best goals against average for Buffalo at 3.07. He has a save percentage of .908%. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (16-11-4) has played the most games in net for the Sabres this season. He has a 3.63 GAA and a .889% save percentage.
HOME AND AWAY
New York is 22-9-6 away from home this season. Buffalo is 14-20-4 at home this season. Meanwhile, the Rangers are 7-7 without a day off and 5-5 playing with a rest disadvantage. The Sabres are 7-5 with a rest advantage.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
NY Rangers (-150)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.