Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Minnesota Wild vs. Buffalo Sabres
NHL: Tuesday, November 19, KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York, 7:00 PM ET
The Minnesota Wild are playing on a hot and cold form recently as they failed to connect two victories in the last month. They returned home from a four-game road trip and beat the Arizona Coyotes only to lose the next game to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime. The Wild dropped to a 7-11-2 record and are at the bottom of the Western Conference with 16 points from 20 games.
The Buffalo Sabres managed to snap the six-game losing streak with a home victory over the Ottawa Senators but lost the following tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks on the road. Buffalo now dropped to a 10-7-3 record and is in the 9th position in the Eastern Conference with 23 points after 20 games.
These rivals met twice in 2018-19, and Buffalo swept the series, but both encounters were close and were settled with a one-goal difference.
The Wild fell short to the Canes at homeMinnesota responded to an early 2-0 deficit and even scored a shorthanded goal through Zach Parise to tie the game against the Carolina Hurricanes to 3-3. The Wild forced overtime, but the visitors snatched two points thanks to Andrei Svechnikov’s OT goal. Eric Staal leads Minnesota in points with 14 (G6, A8), Jason Zucker has 12 (G5, A7), while Brad Hunt (G5, A5) and Jared Spurgeon (G2, A8) have ten points each. Marcus Foligno (lower-body), Kevin Fiala (lower-body), and Greg Pateryn (abdomen) are all injured and will not feature against the Sabres on Tuesday.
This season, Minnesota has the 25th offense in the NHL that averages 2.65 goals per contest, and they are facing Buffalo’s 12th defense that allows 2.90 goals per game. The Wild are the 18th team when it comes to powerplay conversion (17.7%), while Buffalo is the 26th team in the NHL in penalty kill percentage (74.6%).
Devan Dubnyk is probable to start at the goal for the Wild, and he is 4-8-2 as he faced 392 shots in the 2019-20 and allowed 42 goals (3.35 per game) and recorded 350 saves (.893 SV %) without shutouts. He met the Sabres twice in 2018-19 and had a 0-1-1 record, allowing 3.42 goals with .897 SV %.
The Sabres’ inefficiency cost them a win in ChicagoBuffalo ended the six-game losing run with a 4-2 home win over the Ottawa Senators but failed to make it two in a row as the Chicago Blackhawks proved to be too strong for the Sabres. Even though they attempted 34 shots opposite Chicago’s 27, the Sabres scored just one goal. It came late in the game as Buffalo was already 4-0 down, so Jack Eichel only softened defeat and set the final score, 4-1 for the Hawks. Eichel is the top performer for the Sabres this season with 24 points (G13, A11). Sam Reinhart contributed 17 points (G8, A9) thus far, Victor Olofsson has 14 (G7, A7), while Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin have 13 points apiece. Zach Bogosian (hip), Brandon Montour (hand), and Vladimir Sobotka (lower-body) are out indefinitely. Kyle Okposo, Marcus Johansson (upper-body), and Johan Larsson (upper-body) are listed as questionable to take on Minnesota.
Head Coach Ralph Krueger addresses the media following tonight's game in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/lTaNkqN7vt— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 18, 2019
Buffalo has the 19th offense in the NHL in 2019-20 that averages 2.90 goals per contest, and they are facing Minnesota’s 24th defense that allows 3.45 goals per game. The Sabres are the 11th team when it comes to powerplay conversion (21.5%), while Minnesota is the 9th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage (83.6%).
Carter Hutton is probable to start at the goal for the Sabres, and he is 6-4-2 as he faced 361 shots in the 2019-20 and allowed 33 goals (2.73 per game) and recorded 328 saves (.909 SV %) with two shutouts.
The top supporting trends for this game are found on Covers.com Minnesota: • 2-11 in their last 13 games as a road underdog • 3-12 in their last 15 road games • 2-6 in their last eight vs. the Eastern Conference opponents • 3-7 in their last ten games playing on two days rest
Buffalo: • 5-1 in their last six vs. a team with a winning percentage below .400 • 5-2 in their last seven games as a home favorite • 7-3 in their last ten games playing on one day rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Buffalo is in a disastrous form lately, and this matchup is exactly what they need to return to the winning ways. Minnesota is currently the worst team in the Western Conference and has the worst record in the entire NHL. The Wild did play well at KeyBank Center in recent seasons, but they collected just six points in 13 road games in this campaign. Jack Eichel will have numerous opportunities to score a goal or two against Minnesota’s unconvincing defense that allows 3.45 goals per contest. Also, the Wild are among the least efficient teams in the league, so the Sabres shouldn’t have problems to contain them here.
Prediction: Buffalo Sabres (-120)
Full-Game Total Pick
Even though they have one of the weakest offenses in the NHL, the Wild were pretty efficient on the road recently. They scored 14 goals in the last four road games, while Buffalo allowed 3 goals in four of the previous five games. This is certainly encouraging for Minnesota, but also for the bettors who prefer betting on the Over. The total is set at 5.5, and only because of Buffalo’s struggles of late, I am going with Over. I did back the Sabres to win but the visitors will have their chance to score a few goals, especially on powerplay situations.
Prediction: Over 5.5 (-128)