Two Atlantic Division teams take the ice as the Montreal Canadiens travel to Buffalo to visit the Sabres. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Canadiens-Sabres pick, prediction, and how to watch.
Montreal comes in after a dominating 8-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but with playoff hopes all but dashed, the question becomes how much fight will Montreal have in any game. They are 3-5-2 in their last ten games, including nine games against current playoff teams. Buffalo comes in still with playoff hopes. They have won their last two games, including a huge 2-0 win over the Islanders. They have lost eight of their last 11 though and struggled on both sides of the ice.
Here are the Canadiens-Sabres NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Canadiens-Sabres Odds
Montreal Canadiens: +1.5 (-138)
Buffalo Sabres: -1.5 (+116)
Over: 6.5 (-148)
Under: 6.5 (+120)
How To Watch Canadiens vs. Sabres
TV: SportsNet / MSG-Buffao
Stream: NHLPP / ESPN+
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Canadiens Could Cover The Spread
Montreal is a younger team that is improving. The margins in their games have not been massive in comparison to the early season. Yes, they have games like the 9-5 loss to Florida and the 8-4 loss to Colorado, but in the 13 games, they have lost 4-3 three times, and 3-2 twice. They also have a 3-1 loss, but in the third goal, there was an empty netter. Against the best team in the NHL, they were down just one going into the third and lost 4-2 overall. They then went out and trounced Columbus, who is the worst team in the league.
How they did it was offensive firepower. Montreal put eight goals in the back of the net. Columbus is 31st in the NHL in goals against per game, which is potentially why they gave up eight goals, but you know who is 28th? Yes, the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres give up 3.68 goals per game. There are goals to be scored against Buffalo, and Montreal just showed they can do it.
They did it with leading points man, Nick Suzuki, adding four to his total. He commanded the game, seeing up Mike Hoffman, and Harvey-Pinard twice. That line was stellar, as Hoffman also was part of two more goals, setting up Harvey-Pinard twice. Harvey-Pinnard had three goals overall in the game, to help lead the way. Overall, their top three guys had 5 goals and 5 assists on the night. To get that production out of a single group of guys can win almost every single game.
Jake Allen is expected to be in goal, and while his recent stretch has not been good, and he will be seeing plenty of shots from Buffalo, he has dealt with that recently. In his last four starts, he has two games over a .920 save percentage, but his team did not score enough to make a difference. If the top line contributes, and he plays with that save percentage, Montreal will cover.
Why The Sabres Could Cover The Spread
The Sabres come in off two straight wins and a defense that finally showed up. One of the worst defensive units in the league, with 3.68 goals against average, 26th in the league in shots against, just got themselves the second shutout of their season. That happened with a few major performances. First, they only allowed 26 shots on goals, well below their season average. The 31st-ranked penalty killed both power-play opportunities for the Islanders as well. Then they got great goaltending from Eric Comrie.
The question is, can the Sabres repeat that performance? If not, it will come down to outscoring Montreal. That starts with Tage Thompson and his 44 goals on the season. In the 35 wins for the Sabres this year, Thompson has 33 goals. In the 37 losses for the Sabres on the year, he has only scored 11 times. This goes beyond goal-scoring for him. In 35 wins he has 32 assists, but in the 37 losses, that number is just 13. Thompson decides how this offense goes. Since February 1st, the Sabres are 8-7 when Thompson has a point. While that is just over .500, the Sabres have nearly no chance to win when he fails to get a point. they are 1-7 since February 1st if Thompson does not have a point.
Simply put, unless the Sabres get amazing goaltending and defense, which is what was seen against the Islanders, Thompson has to get a point. If he does, they have a chance, if not, the Sabres will lose this game.
Final Canadiens-Sabres Prediction & Pick
This looks like a coin-flip game based on two factors, Thomspon and Buffalo goaltending. Buffalo has plenty of guys who can score, such as Tuch and Skinner, but it is Thompson that makes the offense roll. If he cannot set up Tuch or Skinner, or put one in himself, this will be a bad night. Overall, Montreal has been more consistent recently. Due to that, they cover tonight.
Final Canadiens-Sabres Prediction & Pick: Montreal +1.5 (-138)
The post NHL Odds: Canadiens vs. Sabres prediction, pick, how to watch – 3/27/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.