Sabres vs Capitals NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction for Friday Night.

Sabres vs Capitals NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction for Friday Night

Written by on December 21, 2018

Clear game of the night on a short NHL schedule Friday is a potential playoff preview as the Buffalo Sabres, the most improved team in the league, visit the defending Stanley Cup champion and Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals, who are NHL Betting favorites.

How to Bet Sabres vs Capitals NHL Odds & Game Info

Season Series

Second of three meetings. Last Saturday, Buffalo lost 4-3 in a shootout at Washington. Alex Ovechkin scored a regulation goal and the shootout winner – he entered off back-to-back hat tricks and obviously fell two goals shy of becoming the first player in league history to record a hat trick in three consecutive games. Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored twice and 2018 first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin had a power-play goal for Buffalo. Carter Hutton stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, including seven from Ovechkin.

Why Bet on Buffalo?

Buffalo comes off a 5-2 home loss to Florida on Tuesday. Sam Reinhart extended his point streak to a career-high 11 games with two assists. He has amassed five goals and 13 helpers during his 11-game point spree. The stretch has brought his season total to 34 points in 35 games. He’s already surpassed his 82-game assist total from last season (25) and is four helpers away from matching his career-high (30 in 2016-17). His 11 multi-point games this season are already a career-high.

Reinhart’s surge in production has coincided with his move to a line with Jeff Skinner and Jack Eichel, who have formed of the NHL’s most productive duos since mid-October.

Rasmus Ristolainen scored his fourth goal of the season in the loss. He gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead after two periods, but the Panthers finished the game with four unanswered goals. Ristolainen recorded 22 points in 35 contests. Skinner became just the second Sabre to score his 25th goal in the team’s first 35 games of a season, joining Alexander Mogilny (34th team game in 1992-93). Carter Hutton gave up four goals on 35 shots. The loss drops Hutton’s record to 13-9-2 with a 2.61 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage.

Injury-wise, winger Jason Pominville was hurt in Tuesday’s loss and his status is unclear. Pominville collided with Ristolainen and needed help to get off the ice. He would not return. Defenseman Jake McCabe (upper body) may be ready to return this weekend.

While the Sabres are a nice surprise, they made one huge mistake this offseason in giving Patrik Berglund a five-year, $19.25 million contract. He has just two goals and four points in 23 games and was put on waivers this week – going unclaimed. Last Saturday, it was announced that he was suspended indefinitely for failing to report to the team, which set in motion a chain of events that led to his contract is on the verge of termination. 

Team Stats

Offense
  • Goals: 3.06
  • Shots: 31.86
  • PP/PK Percentage: 19.09
Defense
  • Goals: 2.94
  • Shots: 33.00
  • PP/PK Percentage: 17.48

Why Bet on Washington?

The Caps had a five-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 home loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Lars Eller found the back of the net for the lone goal, opening the scoring at the 6:38 mark. This goal put an end to Eller’s 12-game goal-less drought. It was also his first point in eight games. The 29-year-old has five goals and 15 points in 33 games this season. Alex Ovechkin’s 14-game points streak came to an end. So did Evgeny Kuznetsov’s eight-game assist streak, which was one game shy of matching a franchise mark.

The Caps won their previous two games despite losing the special teams battle decisively both nights. They weren’t able to extend that streak to three vs. Pittsburgh, mainly because they weren’t able to finish on a number of strong chances. They were 0-for-5 on the power play. For the first time this season, the Caps failed to score a power-play goal in a game in which they had five or more extra-man chances.

Sabres vs Capitals is one of the best games scheduled for Friday Night.

Enforcer Tom Wilson had an assist on Eller’s goal for his 16th point of the season, putting him on pace to destroy his career-high point total of 35 (set last year). Wilson has picked up at least a point in 11 of his 14 games since returning from season-opening suspension (and despite missing three games with a concussion). Four of those 11 games were multi-point performances, putting him just one shy of his high for an entire season with 49 games remaining.

Braden Holtby allowed two goals on 30 shots. Holtby now owns a 13-8-2 record with a 2.86 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage this season. This loss put an end to his personal three-game winning streak.

Washington entered Wednesday’s game with 12 wins in its previous 14 games and with at least three goals for in all 14 of those contests, the team’s longest streak of its kind in nearly a decade.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Goals: 3.73
  • Shots: 29.85
  • PP/PK Percentage: 25.00
Defense
  • Goals: 3.09
  • Shots: 31.76
  • PP/PK Percentage: 24.79
 

Sabres vs Capitals NHL Betting Trends

  • Over is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings in Washington
  • Home team is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings
  • Sabres are 3-13 in the last 16 meetings in Washington
  • Sabres are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings
  • Buffalo is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 games
  • Buffalo is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Buffalo’s last 7 games
  • Washington is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games
  • Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of Washington’s last 9 games

Expert NHL Betting Prediction for Sabres vs Capitals

Caps rarely lose back-to-back home games – take Washington and the under.
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