All good things must come to an end and the Buffalo Sabres found that out last night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Sabres’ ten game winning streak was snapped in Tampa with a 5-4 loss. They fought hard and didn’t give up on gunning for an 11th straight win. The Lightning kept having to counter the Sabres until they put them away for good in the 3rd. With the win, the Lightning are 1st in the NHL, while the Sabres slipped back a spot.
The winning streak had to come to an eventually and the Lightning were the team to do it. In any event, it was impressive how they didn’t fold like a cardboard box in Tampa. There were many, including odds makers, who believed the Sabres were in for a big letdown after winning 10 in a row. They didn’t really have a letdown, rather just ran into a better team on Thursday night.
The Lightning are going to be a tough out for most teams in the league. Buffalo can hang their heads high heading to Sunrise for a Friday night clash with the Panthers. They don’t have to go very far, as they head south to meet the Panthers. The Panthers have to get something going soon.
Unsurprisingly, they rank at the back of the league in attendance and aren’t going to get anyone out to watch games with this product. There were a lot of Sabres’ fans in attendance in Tampa last night. Expect the crowd to lean in favour of the Sabres in Sunrise. Luongo has been day-to-day with his knee acting up again, but not even he can hold the floodgates from busting open with their porous defence. He wasn’t playing particularly well before going back on the injury report, so Boughner has to think of something else other than Luongo stealing games. Get our free Sabres vs. Panthers pick below.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers Pick
Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark have combined to be a pretty effective tandem in net for the Sabres. There are several teams out there who don’t have one reliable option, while the Sabres could call on either and feel fairly confident. Hutton took the loss last night, so it will be up to Ullmark to start a new winning streak for the Sabres tonight.
He has been solid with a 2.52 GAA and 0.926 save percentage. In eight of his last ten appearances, Ullmark has allowed 2 or less goals. He’s on a four-game winning streak, with his latest a 3-2 shootout win over the Red Wings. Seven of his last eight games have been on the road, where he has been successful with a record of 5-2 in those seven outings.
As a team, the Sabres have been competent on the road with a record of 8-5-1 and 3 goals per game. In their last ten games, Buffalo have recorded 3.1 goals per game, while allowing 2.4. If the Panthers could get some help defensively they might start winning games and getting over the hump.
That isn’t the case, a they are 28th in the NHL, allowing 3.57 goals per game thus far. They’ve also given up 4 goals per in their last ten outings. I think it’s best that the Sabres have no time to think about the loss to the Lightning. The turnaround is too quick for then, as they will be back on the ice tonight again. I can’t lay the price that the books want on the Panthers here. Despite the loss last night for Buffalo, they’ve proven how dangerous they can be. Give me the Sabres to bounce back with the plus-money in Sunrise on Friday.