Buffalo Sabres vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
Jeff Skinner has stolen the show in Buffalo, as he continues to roll on with 19 goals on the season. He is tied with Patrik Laine who has 19 goals as well. He held the league lead for a minute. That was before Laine put up 5 goals in one game and he took the lead goal right back. It hasn’t been easy ten wins in a row for the Sabres. They’ve had to do it the hard way, with close wins littering their winning streak.
Note that nine of their ten games have been one goal games. Seven of the ten needed extra time to get decided. There are a couple of ways of decoding that. First, the Sabres got lucky and it’s eventually going to catch up to them as variance does when it comes to luck. Second, they’re just a clutch team who comes through under pressure. I think we need more of a sample size. We’ll see how good they are with one of their stiffest challenges yet in Tampa.
The Lightning will be coming into Thursday off a bad loss against the Ducks. Expect one of the top offence in the NHL to come out flying with a determined look to end this streak for Buffalo. The Bolts have averaged 3.68 goals per game for 2nd in the NHL. They’ve been getting by with Louis Domingue in net, but the offence has been carrying the load without Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy will steal some games, but without him, the margin for error is smaller offensively. Domingue enters with a 3.19 GAA and 0.903 save percentage. They have scored 3.8 goals per game in their last ten, but 3.1 goals against is too much.
Domingue is going to have to contend with a Buffalo offence who are feeling plenty confident. They have scored 3.3 goals per game during this ten-game run and have found a potent 1-2 punch with Skinner and Eichel. Domingue doesn’t exactly evoke much confidence. There will most likely be some offence in this contest, so a look at the OVER is appealing.