Two of the NHL’s top offenses are set to square off at FLA Live Arena on Tuesday, as the Florida Panthers (39-31-7) host the Buffalo Sabres (37-31-7).Buffalo is coming off a high-scoring 6-3 win over the Flyers on Saturday.
Alex Tuch was the top goalscorer for the Sabres with a hat trick. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen saved an impressive 39 of 42 shots (.928%) in the win. Florida won their third in a row, beating the Blue Jackets 7-0 on Saturday.
Carter Verhaeghe was the leading goal scorer for the Panthers, netting four times. Alex Lyon had a dominant performance with 21 saves to record the shutout.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Panthers have won two of the three games between the teams this season, although the Sabres were 3-1 victors in their most recent meeting in February.
Tage Thompson led Buffalo with three points (0G 3A). Verhaeghe scored Florida’s only goal. Craig Anderson got the win, saving 49 of 50 shots (.980%).
Buffalo is averaging 3.59 goals per game for the season, third in the NHL, and they are taking on a Panthers team that is allowing 3.36 goals a game (23rd).
Meanwhile, Florida has found the net 3.51 times a game on average, fourth in the league, and the Sabres are allowing opponents to score 3.64 goals per game (26th).
Florida averages more shots per game (36.7) than any other team in the league, though the team’s 9.6% shooting percentage ranks 22nd. With an average of 32.2 attempts, Buffalo ranks 11th.
Expect several power play opportunities for the Sabres, as the Panthers have been penalized 4.58 times a game, second-most in the NHL, for an average of 11.43 minutes (fourth-highest). The visitors are averaging 3.44 penalties (6th-fewest in the league) and 7.63 penalty minutes a game (5th-fewest).
The Sabres’ 23.79% power play percentage ranks seventh in the league, while the Panthers are 11th with a conversion rate of 22.09%. While strong on the power play, Buffalo has been less successful at penalty killing, as the away team owns the league’s fourth-lowest PK% at 73.21%. Florida’s 74.54% ranks 27th in the NHL.
With 89 points this season, Thompson is the top skater for the Sabres. He is among the league leaders with 44 goals (6th) and has added 45 assists. In the net, Anderson (10-11-2) is Buffalo’s top goaltender by goals against average.
He has a 3.07 GAA and a .908% save percentage. Luukkonen (17-11-4) leads the Sabres in games played in goal. He has a GAA of 3.61 and a save percentage of .891%.
Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers in scoring with 102 points (5th in the league). He has 38 goals and 64 assists (7th) in 74 games. Sergei Bobrovsky (24-20-3) has the best goals against average for Florida at 3.07. He has a save percentage of .901%.
HOME AND AWAY
Buffalo is 22-11-3 away from KeyBank Center this season. Florida is 21-12-4 at FLA Live Arena this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Florida Panthers (-190)
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