Coyotes vs. Sabres NHL Pick – December 13th

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<p>The Arizona Coyotes are in Buffalo on Thursday evening as they hope to snap a three-game losing streak against the Sabres. After Buffalo, they head to NYC and then Raleigh to conclude a four-game road trip. Despite the three-game skid, the Coyotes are exceeding expectations after some dreadful seasons at the back of the league. </p>
<p>They were above .500 prior to this recent setback, but have since slipped to 13-14-2. Max Domi was sent to Montreal and it seems it’s worked out well for all parties involved. He’s been playing good hockey with the Canadiens, as they’ve been able to utilize his speed. Meanwhile, the Coyotes have looked better without him, so Domi doesn’t appear to have any hard feelings about the trade. </p>
<p>The Coyotes could need some help in the goal scoring department, so it would have been interesting to see how Domi worked into this team. Clayton Keller and Domi may have combined to be a potent 1-2 punch, which was the idea all along, but the Yotes feel good with Keller as their current and future leader. </p>
<p>Keller is only 20 years old with plenty of room to grow. He doesn’t get much attention playing in Arizona, but he is worth mentioning with other young talents. If the Coyotes can attract Auston Matthews to come home and sign, the Coyotes could be in business as a playoff team. </p>
<p>As it stands now, they’re still a couple or so years off. They need some help for Keller in the offence. The offensive problems are exemplified even more with the loss of goaltender Antti Raanta to injury. Raanta recently hit the IR with a lower-body injury. It isn’t short term either, because the most likely scenario is that he is gone for the entire season. That leaves Darcy Kuemper as the clear starting netminder for the Coyotes. He’s been adequate, though don’t expect him to steal games on a regular basis. Get our free Coyotes vs. Sabres pick below. </p>
<h2 class=Arizona Coyotes vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick

The Coyotes have encountered into some defensive problems during their recent three-game losing streak. Specifically, I should note goaltending, because they allowed an average of less than 30 shots per game. Kuemper gave up 4 goals to the Bruins in a 4-3 loss. A Bruins team that has struggled offensively this season, hit Kuemper for a 0.846 save percentage.

Prior to that game, he gave up 3 goals in a 3-2 loss to the Knights in overtime. Overall, he has been okay with a 2.83 GAA and 0.909 save percentage. He should play well enough for the Coyotes not to have to go out and initiate a trade for a goaltender. An average team will likely be fine with an average goaltender for the time being.

Arizona are 28th in the league with just 2.59 goals scored per game. That’s not going to get it done in this era of high-scoring in the NHL. And with the injury to Raanta, it’s going to put even more pressure on the offence to start winning games.

The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 win over the Kings in overtime. It ended a five-game losing streak, which came immediately after ten straight wins. They have the upper-hand at home in this contest. Buffalo have scored 3.13 goals per game at KeyBank Center, compared to 2.5 goals on the road for the Coyotes.

The Sabres are a model for what the Coyotes can develop into. Buffalo finished last a season ago, but are playing like a playoff team in 2018-19. We’ll see if the Yotes can follow their path in upcoming seasons. However, for the moment, the Coyotes are the students in Buffalo. Expect the Sabres to teach them a thing or two and form a new consecutive win streak against the Coyotes.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.