The NHL is set up with an action packed night of hockey on Monday. Ten games are up on the board throughout February 15. One of these games will be between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres. These two teams have been solid to the early part of this season, which should lead to a good game in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
New York has earned a record of 6-4-3 throughout the early stretch of this season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the East Division. The Islanders are coming off a win in their last game and have won three of their last four. New York will look to come out strong in this one as they try to keep the winning streak up in this one.
The Sabres have put up a record of 4-4-2 throughout their season so far, which has them in last place of the East Division. Buffalo has not played since January 31, which they will look to come out better in this one. The Sabres lost their last game before this one and have lost two of their last three games. Buffalo will look to come out strong after their struggles with COVID-19 over the last two weeks.
These two teams have been strong so far this season, but have not had a lot of games. The East Division is still very wide open, which should lead to a great game on Monday night. If either team can come out strong in this one, I think that they will be able to earn a win in this one. I expect a great game in this one as the Sabres return to action.
The Islanders and the Sabres met up twice throughout last season. New York hosted the first game on November 2. Carter Hutton stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced for Buffalo, but it was not enough in this one. Derick Brassard opened up the scoring in the first period to help lift the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov finished with a 27 shot shutout to give New York a 1-0 win.
The second game stayed in New York on December 14. Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist on the night, while Victor Olofsson scored as well. It was not enough for the Sabres though. Anthony Beauvillier scored the game winning goal and added two assists. Michael Dal Colle and Jordan Eberle each had a goal, while Brock Nelson had two assists.
These two teams met up twice last season, but it was the Islanders who were able to take both games. The Islanders were in tight battles in both games, winning each of them by one goal. The Islanders will look to come out strong in this season series with a win. Buffalo will look to get the offense going early in this one as they look to grab a win on Monday night.
The Islanders have been strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. New York has been able to capitalize on 9 of their 42 power play chances, which is a 21.4 percent success rate. The Islanders have given up 6 goals on 33 penalties against, which is an 81.8 percent penalty kill. New York will look to keep up their special teams success in this one.
Buffalo’s special teams have also been very strong throughout the early part of this season. The Sabres have scored 12 goals on 12 power play opportunities, which is a 30.8 percent power play. Buffalo’s penalty kill has killed off 19 of their opponents 23 power play attempts, which is an 82.6 percent kill rate. The Sabres will look to continue their strong play after the break.
These two teams have bene solid on special teams this season, which has helped them start this season out strong. Buffalo has a slight edge on special teams in this one. The Sabres have not played in over two weeks though, which could lead to a slow start on special teams on Monday night. If either team can come out hot though, it could be enough for a win in this one.
Semyon Varlamov will likely get the start between the pipes for New York in this one. Varlamov has earned a record of 6-2-2 throughout this 10 starts this season. He has posted a save percentage of .930 and a 1.98 GAA on the season. Varlamov finished with 28 saves on 30 shots in his last start against the Boston Bruins, which was enough for the win.
I expect Linus Ullmark to get the nod in the crease for the Sabres on Monday night. Ullmark has started in 6 games this season, posting a record of 3-1-2 in those games. He has put up a .914 save percentage and a GAA of 2.56 so far. Ullmark’s last start was against the New Jersey Devils, where he stopped 31 of 34 shots in the winning effort.
These two goalies have been strong throughout the early part of this season. Varlamov has had slightly better numbers, but Ullmark will look to pick up where he left off before the break. I expect both goalies to try and set the pace throughout the early part of this matchup. If either offense can come out with a lot of pressure though, it could be enough to breakthrough.
These two teams have been strong so far this season, which should lead to a great game on Monday night. The Sabres are playing their first game in two weeks and they will look to come out strong after the break. Buffalo is back and pretty healthy, which I think will lead to a good start for the Sabres. New York will look to come out fast as they try to earn their own win.
BetOnline has the Islanders listed as a -141 against the money line in this one. This implies that New York will win this game around 58.5 percent of the time. The Islanders have been strong, but with Buffalo back, I think this game should be closer to even. The Sabres will look to come out quick after their break and I think as underdogs, they have a lot of value.