Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings Matchup Preview 10/17/19

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The Buffalo Sabres, fueled by Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson, are preparing to take the ice against Anze Kopitar, Ilya Kovalchuk, and the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center in an East-West matchup. The action gets underway at 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 17, and you can catch it live on Fox Sports West.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings Odds

Buffalo is 5-2 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. That SU win percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, represents a welcome improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2018-19 season (33-49). Three of its matches have gone over the total, while another three have gone under. The Sabres are 1-2 SU as the road team in 2019-20.

The Sabres have impressively found the net on 34.5 percent of their power play opportunities thus far. That’s a nice improvement from last year, when they were ranked 16th in the NHL by scoring on 19.5 percent of their extra-man opportunities. Their penalty kill has fallen off noticeably since last year, however, as they’ve gone from successfully defending 80.8 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 12th overall last season) to 76.2 percent this year..

Sporting a .915 save percentage and 35.7 saves per game, Linus Ullmark (1-2-1) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo this season. Ullmark did just play last night, however, so head coach Ralph Krueger could choose to rest him and roll with Carter Hutton instead (4-0 record, .931 save percentage, 1.74 goals against average).

Los Angeles is 2-4 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Five of its outings have gone over the total, while one has gone under and none have pushed. Thus far, the team is 1-2 SU as the home team.

The Kings have scored on 9.5 percent of their extra-man advantages this year after converting on 15.8 percent (ranked 28th in league) last season. They’ve killed off an impressive 65.0 percent of their penalties, a few points off from the 76.2 percent they posted a year ago (when they were ranked 29th overall).

Jack Campbell (25.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in the crease for the Kings. Campbell has two wins and one loss to his name and has recorded a mediocre 2.69 goals against average and a fairly-weak .904 save percentage this season.

Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • After posting a 5-3 record in games decided by a shootout last season, the Sabres are off to a 1-0 start in shootouts this year. The Kings went 3-4 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
  • For both of these teams, the over has hit in four of their last five outings.
  • Buffalo has managed 30.7 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Los Angeles is averaging 35.7 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Buffalo skaters notched 19.1 hits per game last season, while the Kings logged 23.3 hits per contest.