It’s been a few days since I last released some free NHL picks, and while I won’t go into too much detail, I stayed hot with a 2-1 night on Thursday and nabbed a 0.97-unit profit.
I had the Maple Leafs and Stars to go under the 6-goal total, something that indeed took place in a 3-2 Stars win.
I took the Senators to beat the Coyotes as home underdogs, something that also took place in a 3-2 Ottawa win.
Finally, I had the Panthers as home favorites over the visiting Flyers, but Philly scored early and often in that one and delivered us a 6-2 loss.
Nonetheless, it was another profitable night and I’ll take my hot streak into this seven-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 97-82-1
Now let’s dive into this free NHL pick featuring the Sabres vs. Senators from Ottawa!
Sabres vs. Senators Betting Odds
- Sabres (-115)
- Senators (+104)
- Sabres -1.5 (+216)
- Senators +1.5 (-256)
- Over 6 (-106)
- Under 6 (-104)
Sabres vs. Senators NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
Battling for their playoff lives at this point, the Sabred enter this one tonight having rattled off three wins in a row and four over their last five games coming off a convincing 5-2 win over the rival Maple Leafs on Sunday on home ice.
The Sabres have been notably better at home, however, with an 18-10-4 record at the Keybank Center and a 9-14-4 mark away from home where they’ve won just once over their last six.
They really haven’t been good at either end of the ice on the road, sitting 23rd with 2.52 goals per game away from home where their power play sits 19th with a 17.9% clip.
Things don’t improve a whole lot at the other end of the ice as the Sabres sit tied for 19th with 3.30 goals against per game on the season away from home while their 69.9% mark on the penalty kill on the road ranks them 30th league wide.
As a result, it’s not hard to see why Buffalo enters with such a weak record outside of the Keybank Center.
That said, their offense has scored 12 goals over their last three games and allowed just seven themselves while their power play has gone 2 for 4 over their last two with their penalty kill a perfect 6 for 6 over their last four games.
Possession-wise, the Sabres haven’t been very good this season.
At 5v5 on the road, Buffalo ranks 13th with a 49.30% Corsi For%, 21st with a 46.94% Scoring Chances For% and 20th with a 46.82% High-Danger Chances For%.
They have, however, received excellent goaltending of late from Carter Hutton, something that hasn’t been the case for much of the season.
With young netminder Linus Ullmark sidelined at the moment, it’s been Hutton doing most of the work between the pipes of late.
Hutton enters this one sporting a 3.12 GAA and .897 Sv% on the season in 25 appearances (24 starts) but the concern tonight is that he owns a 3.72 GAA and .890 Sv% on the road in 10 starts.
Outside of a blowout loss to the Avalanche, Hutton’s been pretty good this month as he owns a .931 Sv% in five starts outside of that hiccup and turned aside 37 of 39 shots in New York against a very good Rangers offense in his last start on the road.
Hutton stopped all four shots he faced in relief of an injured Ullmark when these teams last met back on January 28th in Buffalo.
After struggling mightily themselves, the Senators have played much better of late as well, winning two of their last three games and most recently taking down a very good Stars team in overtime their last time out.
What’s most impressive about that one is that their offense managed a whopping 46 shots on goal and four goals against a very, very strong Stars defensive team.
Although they allowed 39 themselves and allowing plenty of shots has been a theme in the second half of their season, it was a positive possession trend for a team that’s seen their home possession numbers plummet from the start of the season.
At 5v5 at home, the Sens rank 26th with a 48.12% Corsi For% 24th with a 49.22% Scoring Chances For% but also a real nice 13th-ranked 53.45% High-Danger Chances For%.
As a result, the Sens have averaged a decent 3.00 goals per game at home this season, good for a share of 19th, although their power play has struggled with a 26th-ranked 16.2% clip at the Canadian Tire Centre this season.
Defensively, they’ve slipped to 17th with 2.97 goals against per game at home but their penalty kill sits 14th with an 82.2% mark.
That penalty kill has struggled mightily of late, however, going just 8 for 14 (57%) over their last six games and lost a key piece of that unit today.
Defenseman Dylan Demelo was traded to the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon and he’s been fabulous on the PK for the Senators this season.
Fellow defender Mark Borowiecki is injured at the moment, so the team is missing a couple of regular defenders and penalty kill contributors for this one tonight.
Getting the nod in goal for the home side tonight will be Craig Anderson who earned the win with 36 saves over the Stars on Sunday after stopping all 14 shots he faced in relief of Marcus Hogberg against the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Anderson enters this one sporting a 3.19 GAA and .902 Sv% on the season, but also a quality 2.75 GAA and .917 Sv% at home in 12 outings.
Over four starts and five appearances since the All-Star game, the veteran owns a 2.60 GAA and 922 Sv%, going 2-1-1 in the process.
It’s a rivalry matchup tonight between a couple of times that aren’t going to be in the playoffs this season, barring a miracle run from the Sabres down the stretch.
Still, it’s a matchup between a couple of teams playing well at the moment, but to me the advantage goes to the road team in this one.
The Senators have shown plenty of effort and fight all season long, but with Demelo and Borowiecki out of the lineup that blueline gets thin in a hurry.
While the Sabres have penalty killing issues of their own on the road, the Sens’ PK is beaten up at the moment and Demelo was probably their best penalty killer, now playing for the Jets.
With Victor Olofsson back the Sabres offense and power play gets a boost and Jack Eichel remains the best player in this game tonight.
With the Sens retiring the No.4 of long-time defenseman Chris Phillips tonight, they should be ready to play.
However, the Sens could certainly use a player of his caliber in this one given the current shape of their blueline, and I think the Sabres can get to them with their offense rolling.
Give me the road side on the moneyline.