*10* NHL Game of the Week (Power Sports)
Florida vs. Buffalo,
02/01/2018 19:00 EDT,
Score: 4 - 2
Money Line: -103 Buffalo
10* Buffalo (7:05 ET): The Sabres, by just about any objective measure, should be considered the weakest team in the entire Eastern Conference. They have the fewest points (37) and worst goal differential (-51), though Ottawa is "closing in" in both regards. So, it's certainly a bit "eye opening" to find them at essentially "even money" on the ML tonight. Of course, that must mean they're at home (they are!) and the opponent must be pretty weak as well (they are!). Florida enters this game as another "also-ran" in the Atlantic Division, and had dropped three straight before beating the Islanders, 4-1, on Tuesday. I don't see them winning B2B road games as - overall - they're just 9-17 SU away from South Beach this season.
Meanwhile, Buffalo had actually won three in a row before losing its last game. The entirety of that three-game win streak came in Western Canada as they swept a trip through Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, even beating the final two - both - in shutout fashion. But then they returned home on Tuesday and lost to the Devils 3-1. There's been no real home ice advantage to speak of for the Sabres as they're just 6-13-3 here and being outscored by over a goal per game. That being said, this isn't a bad matchup w/ it being their second straight here while Florida is in the second of B2B roadies. Listening to the players, it seems as if there's a real emphasis being placed on this game. "We want to bring that hockey that we showed we can play out west to this arena and for our fans," said Jake McCabe. There have been line changes, hinted at in practice, as well.
Florida has some goaltending issues right now, namely in terms of depth. Both Roberto Luongo and James Reimer are out due to injury. That leaves 28-year old rookie Harri Sateri as the only real option between the pipes. Sateri performed admirably in picking up his 1st career win Tuesday night, making 32 saves, but this is a goaltender w/ just four career starts and an .899 save percentage. The Panthers are 1-8 SU this season following a win by 2+ goals. Another thing to consider is the # of shots they tend to allow (36.6 L5 games), the highest number in the league this season. Sabres goalie Robin Lehner is in good enough form as he was the one that posted both shutouts Western Canada. 10* Buffalo