Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers Matchup Preview

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A game between two teams riding winning streaks, the Buffalo Sabres and the Florida Panthers meet at the BB&T Center in an Atlantic Division matchup. The first puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2, and you can witness it live on TVA Sports.

Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers Odds

Buffalo (+180) is entering this one as the underdog to Florida (-215), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -105 for the over and -115 for the under.

Florida is 30-31 straight up (SU) and has recorded -1.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a welcome improvement over the 35-47 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Through 61 regular season contests, 32 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 28 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 17-12 SU at home this year.

The Panthers have converted on 19.4 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 23rd overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 78.8 percent of all penalties.

The Panthers, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.3 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five outings at home. The team’s had to stave off opposition power plays for just 7.0 minutes per game over their last five outings, in total.

With a .905 save percentage and 27.9 saves per game, James Reimer (15-20-5) has been the top goalkeeper for Florida this year. If the Panthers decide to give him the evening off, however, Florida might turn to Roberto Luongo (11-10-10 record, .928 save percentage, 2.58 goals against average).

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck will each spearhead the attack for the Panthers. Barkov (61 points) is up to 23 goals and 38 assists and has recorded multiple points on 16 different occasions this year. Trocheck has 24 goals and 33 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 41 games.

Over on the other bench, Buffalo is 20-44 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. A total of 32 of its outings have gone under the total, while 28 have gone over and just four have pushed. The Sabres are 11-22 SU as an away team this season.

The Sabres have converted on just 17.4 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 20th overall and it’s successfully killed off 79.4 percent of all penalties.

Buffalo’s skaters have been penalized 3.5 times per game this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five match ups. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (27.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner has 13 wins, 33 losses, and eight OT losses to his credit, while registering a .910 save percentage and 2.95 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres will be Jack Eichel (22 goals, 31 assists) and Ryan O’Reilly (18 goals, 28 assists).

Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers Betting Predictions

Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Florida (2-3 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Buffalo fell short in its lone shootout this season.
  • The total has gone under in three of Florida’s last five games.
  • The Panthers have averaged the league’s third-most shots on goal (34.4) while the Sabres have attempted just the 23rd-most (34.4).
  • Florida is putting up 3.0 goals per game over its four-game win streak.
  • Buffalo skaters have given out the 12th-most hits in the league (22.1 per game).