In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres meet at the KeyBank Center for a divisional showdown. MSG Western New York will broadcast the matchup, and the action gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres Odds
Toronto is 41-29 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 70 regular season outings, 34 of its games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just four have pushed. As the road team in 2017-18, the Leafs are 17-19 SU.
Toronto has converted on 22.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked sixth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all penalties.
The Leafs, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.2 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its last ten matchups. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 5.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
With a .919 save percentage and 31.0 saves per game, Frederik Andersen (35-23-5) has been the primary option in goal for Toronto this year. Andersen played last night, however, so Toronto could choose to rest him and instead go with Curtis McElhinney (8-6-1 record, .929 save percentage, 2.27 goals against average).
The visiting Maple Leafs have relied on Mitchell Marner and William Nylander this year. Marner (58 points) has tallied 19 goals and 39 assists, and has recorded multiple points 14 times. Nylander has 14 goals and 36 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 37 games).
Buffalo is 22-47 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. 34 of its games have gone under the total, while 31 have gone over and just four have pushed. The team is 10-24 SU at home this year.
The Sabres have converted on just 16.8 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.2 percent of all opponent power plays.
Buffalo players have been whistled for penalties 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Robin Lehner (27.2 saves per game) has been the top selection in goal for the Sabres. Lehner has 14 wins, 36 losses, and nine OT losses and has maintained a mediocre 2.91 goals against average and a .911 save percentage this year.
The Sabres will be led on offense by Jack Eichel (22 goals, 31 assists).
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Buffalo Sabres Free Picks
NHL Pick: SU Winner – Sabres, O/U – Over
- Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be key tonight. The Maple Leafs are 15-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 31-27 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Sabres are 7-18 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 18-33 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- Three of Toronto’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 2-1 in those games and 7-2 overall in shootouts this season.
- Toronto might hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 22-10 in one-goal games, while Buffalo is only 10-22 in such games.
- The total has gone over in three of Buffalo’s last five games.
- Buffalo has averaged 7.6 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 7.0 giveaways per game (ranked 6th in the league).
- Toronto has averaged 10.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.1 giveaways per game (ranked 28th in the NHL).