I couldn’t build momentum from my 3-1 Friday night as my two free NHL picks from Sunday went 0-1-1.
The push came in the afternoon affair between the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild. The total was the lowest I’ve seen this NHL season at just five goals, and I don’t care who’s playing, I’ll take that over almost every single time as all you need is a 2-2 game at some point, ensuring at least a push. That’s what we got as the game was 2-2 and went into extra time where the slight home underdog Wild won it in a shootout.
The loss came several hours later between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks led the game 2-1 midway through the second but Leon Draisaitl tied it entering the third. Draisaitl struck again on the power play less than a minute into the third and that goal stood as the game winner in a 3-2 Oilers win, sinking our Canucks moneyline pick at -128.
Let’s get back on the right track on this five-game Monday night schedule!
Season Record: 32-29-1
Let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Devils vs. Sabres from Buffalo!
Devils vs. Sabres Betting Odds
- Devils (+107)
- Sabres (-118)
- Devils +1.5 (-227)
- Sabres -1.5 (+197)
- Over 6 (-105)
- Under 6 (-105)
Devils vs. Sabres NHL Pick Breakdown
Let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
This is a Devils team that continues to spin its wheels in search of a surge up the Eastern Conference standings back towards the playoff picture, but they’re running out of time.
After finally stringing two wins together in mid-November, the Devils have dropped four of their last six games and sit ahead of only the Detroit Red Wings in the Eastern Conference.
Continued inconsistency at both ends of the ice remains the issue at hand.
The Devils will enter this one ranked 27th in overall offense this season, but their 2.09 goals per game on the road ranks them 29th. Their 12.5% mark on the power play on the road sits 25th in the league and that man advantage went 0 for 8 in their 4-0 loss to the Rangers on Saturday. They are just 1 for 17 (5.9%) over their last four games on the power play.
Defensively, it’s been a struggle as well. Their 3.48 goals against per game on the season ranks 29th in the league while their 3.55 goals against per game on the road sits in a tie for 25th alongside the rival New York Rangers.
The possession numbers aren’t any prettier. The Devils enter this one ranked 29th with a 47.10% Corsi For% (CF%) at 5v5 play on the season, overall. That number clips all the way to 44.97% on the road, which ranks 30th in the league while they are being outshot by an average of 5.3 shots per game on the road as well.
The Devils 44.65% scoring chances for percentage (SCF%) on the road checks in at 26th, although their high-danger chances for percentage (HDCF%) on road at 5v5 ranks 10th. While it’s a nice ranking, they are still losing the high-danger chances battle away from home.
Goaltender Louis Domingue has been given the starting nod for this one tonight with Mackenzie Blackwood set to take on the Golden Knights in the second half of back-to-back games tomorrow night on home ice.
Domingue recently replaced the struggling Cory Schneider as the team’s backup goaltender, and he’s played well in a small sample. Domingue owns a 1.76 GAA and .926 Sv% in two starts and three appearances this season. However, those numbers are quite skewed.
In other words, I’d take Domingue’s impressive overall surface numbers with a grain of salt.
The Sabres are coming off a weekend split with the Maple Leafs, winning a 6-4 decision at home on Friday before dropping a 2-1 overtime decision on Saturday in Toronto. The Sabres played a surging Maple Leafs team (4-1-0 since a head coaching change) extremely tough on both occasions.
The game at home on Friday was a back-and-forth affair with both teams not playing the best of defense, but the Sabres, for the most part, have been a quality home defense this season.
They’ll enter this one ranked 13th with 2.69 goals against per game at home on the season while their 29.1 shots against per game at home ranks eighth.
Offensively, their 2.85 goals per game on the season ranks 20th, however that number spikes to 3.31 goals per game at home which ranks them 14th in the league.
What’s hurt them the most over a rough November was their work on the power play after that group enjoyed a white-hot start to the season.
The Sabres have scored just one goal over their last 10 games on the power play spanning 28 opportunities, good for a 3.6% clip. They’re also struggling on the penalty kill, allowing at least one power play goal in eight of their last 10 games with a mark of 71.4% over that time.
There’s little doubt that the Sabres are much better at home where they are 7-3-3 on the season compared to their 5-7-2 mark on the road.
Getting the nod in goal tonight will be Linus Ullmark who got the victory on Friday against the Maple Leafs despite allowing four goals on 29 shots.
He struggled mightily for consistency in the month of November when he posted a 3.29 GAA and .894 Sv% across eight outings after a quality month of October that saw him put together a 2.56 GAA and .932 Sv% in five appearances.
At this point, we can’t be certain about what Ullmark will show up.
There’s a couple things I’m lookin at with this pick.
One is the Devils and simply how bad they’ve been across the board, especially on the road. Their surface and advanced numbers on the road are both atrocious.
However, the Sabres don’t own the best of home advanced numbers, but the raw numbers are of substantial quality.
Both teams have scuffled on special teams and both teams have questionable goaltending entering this one tonight.
However, from what I saw over the weekend from the Sabres, I like their chances in this one at home ice.
They probably deserved to win Saturday’s game in Toronto but Frederik Andersen stood tall on many high-danger Sabres chances. They also hit at least three posts on the night. They also outplayed the Maple Leafs at home on Friday.
Their home defense has been strong for the vast majority of the season and Jack Eichel has notched 12 goals and 23 points in 13 home games this season.
I also like the fact that the Sabres’ odds have gone from -130 to -118 despite being home for this one. I’ll take the increased value with Buffalo tonight.