The Buffalo Sabres are off to a nice start, and they’re about to put their will to the test tonight against the Capitals in Washington. Buffalo have been good, but we all recall how they got hot at one point last season as well. As such, there are some doubters that believe everything will come crashing down for the Sabres soon.
All hell brook loose for the Sabres following a ten-game win streak last season. Why couldn’t it happen again this season? True. But this is a little different in the sense that the Sabres didn’t play this well to start last season. That ten-game win streak came well after a month of play, and this season they’ve hot right out of the gates.
Nonetheless, the Sabres will hit a cold streak eventually. Even the best of teams have slumps in the NHL. How they respond to that is going to be the better gauge of where the Sabres are this season. They’re coming off a nice three-day break after losing to the Coyotes in a shootout Monday night.
It was a hard loss for the Sabres, as they watched two shots in overtime ring off the post. They also had a glorious opportunity to close out the game in front of the net with seconds remaining in overtime. It wasn’t meant to be on Monday, though, as the Sabres slipped to 9-2-2 on the season.
Despite the loss against the Coyotes, the Sabres are tied for 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 20 points. They can bypass the Capitals with 2 points tonight. Washington lead the conference with 21 points, but could be bumped out of that spot with a sloppy performance in this one. The Caps are winners in six of their previous seven games and have enjoyed turning the red light on often recently. We’ll see if the Sabres can keep pace with them on Friday night in Washington. Get our free Sabres vs. Capitals pick below.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals Pick
The Sabres’ best win this season has to be either against the Sharks or Penguins. They blew out the Devils, but they have been an awful team so far this season. Pittsburgh and San Jose have at least showed a pulse. But the point here is that the Sabres haven’t played a major Stanley Cup contender yet.
That is going to change tonight in Washington against the Capitals. This is a great measuring stick for Buffalo. If they get pounded, they’ll still have a record of 9-3-2, which is great. However, don’t tell that to the Sabre doubters, though. They will jump all over the Sabres and say that they can’t compete with elite teams.
Buffalo might want to consider allowing less shots against the Caps tonight. In their last two outings, the Sabres gave up 85 shots against the Red Wings and Coyotes. The Capitals know how to take advantage of chances, and will pile up the goals if that’s the case. Washington have been on fire with 4.3 goals per game in their last ten games. It was a bit of a slow start, but they’re on the right path now. The Caps have scored at least 4 goals in six of their last seven games.
While the offence has been blazing hot, Braden Holtby and their defensive effort could be a lot better. Holtby goes into Friday with a 3.55 GAA and 0.88 save percentage. In the Capitals’ previous ten outings, they’ve allowed 3.6 goals per game. So, Washington are winning games while giving up a lot of goals.
That’s the NHL nowadays, I suppose, but it has led to a lot of easy winners on the OVER in Capital games. Buffalo, led by Jack Eichel, who has been filling the net with pucks frequently, have scored an average of 3 goals a game in their last ten outings. Sam Reinhart netted a hat trick in the Sabres’ last contest against the Capitals, a 5-2 win back in February. If there’s any NHL game to watch tonight, the Sabres and Capitals should be high on your list. It should be a good one tonight, with the OVER a solid selection if you’re looking for a bet.