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After snapping a season-high five-game winning run with a defeat in Tampa, the Carolina Hurricanes (5th in Metropolitan Division) are returning home to host the Buffalo Sabres (4th in Atlantic), who have won two of their last three contests…
Sabres Outmuscle New Jersey
The Buffalo Sabres (23-14-6) won for the second time in their last three fixtures (2-1-0) after beating the New Jersey Devils with a score of 5-1 at KeyBank Center on Tuesday. It was Buffalo’s sixth victory in the last 18 contests (6-8-4) after the team posted a 10-game winning streak prior. The Sabres are sitting 4th in the Atlantic Division with 52 points from 43 fixtures, currently holding the 2nd Wild Card of the Eastern Conference. Jack Eichel leads Buffalo with 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists), while Jeff Skinner (42 points) has nabbed the most markers (29).
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 11, 2019
After 28 starts and 29 games played overall, goalie Carter Hutton has recorded a 14-12-3 total for the ongoing season with a 2.57 GAA and a .918 save percentage. He is 3-1-0 against the Carolina Hurricanes in previous encounters with a 2.06 GAA and a .927 save percentage. The Sabres, meanwhile, are scoring the 12th lowest number of goals per game (2.84), while conceding the 8th lowest amount on the defensive end (2.79). They are 18th in power play (18.5%) and 5th in penalty kill (84.1%).
‘Canes Fail In Tampa Bay
The season-high five-game winning streak came to an end for the Carolina Hurricanes (20-18-5), who snapped it after losing 3-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena yesterday, thus rounding off their latest three-game road trip with a 2-1-0 total. It was just the third defeat for the ‘Canes in their last nine contests (6-3-0), with the team currently occupying the 5th place in the Metropolitan Division with 45 points from 43 fixtures, seven points below the playoff bubble of the Eastern Conference. Sebastian Aho leads Carolina with 16 goals and 45 points.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) January 11, 2019
Having used Petr Mrazek (8-9-2 on the year with a 2.66 GAA and a .902 save percentage) in Tampa, the Hurricanes are most likely to turn to Curtis McElhinney in the net versus Buffalo, with the 35-year-old having gone 2-3-0 against the Sabres historically with a 2.98 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He is 10-5-1 for the current campaign with a 2.25 GAA and a .922 save percentage. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are 4th in least goals netted per game (2.60), 12th in least goals allowed on average (2.84), 25th in power play (16.4%) and 17th in penalty kill (80.1%).
- Hurricanes are 5-1 in their last 6 overall.
- Hurricanes are 7-3 in their last 10 Friday games.
- Sabres are 0-6 in their last 6 overall meetings with Hurricanes.
- Sabres are 0-4 in their last 4 games following a win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Consistency has been a problem for the Sabres lately, who have managed to win consecutive games on just one occasion since ending their 10-game winning run at the end of November. They have also managed to triumph in just three of their past 13 contests versus sides from the Eastern Conference, are 2-8 on their last 10 trips to Raleigh and have already lost three straight road outings. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have been in excellent form lately, failing to extend their winning streak to six fixtures only due to a couple of third-period power-play snipes of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes
Full-Game Total Pick
Eight of the past 10 meetings between the Sabres and the ‘Canes in Carolina have finished above the five-goal barrier. And this one is destined to be one of those high-scoring ones as well. Five of the past seven road contests of the Sabres have already witnessed plenty of scoring, while four of the last five overall fixtures of the Hurricanes have all gone over the total, averaging 7.5 snipes per game.
Prediction: Over 5.5