Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils Game Preview

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Buffalo Sabres and the New Jersey Devils clash at the Prudential Center in an Eastern Conference showdown. MSG Network will air the matchup, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 29.

Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils Odds

Earning moneyline bettors 12.0 units, the Devils are 22-14 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked third in the NHL in this young season, is a surprising improvement over the 28-54 record from last years regular season campaign. Through 36 regular season matches, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 12-7 SU at home this season.

New Jersey’s converted on 20.9 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked fourth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 84.4 percent of all penalties.

New Jersey, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, 4.2 per game over its last five games total, and 4.2 per game over its last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for 12.8 minutes per game over its last five home outings.

Averaging 29.6 saves per game with a .923 save percentage, Cory Schneider (18 wins, 10 losses, and four OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for the Devils this year. If they decide to give him the night off, however, New Jersey might turn to Keith Kinkaid (5-5-5 record, .893 save percentage, 3.49 goals against average).

The Devils will continue relying on leadership out of Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt. Hall (36 points) has tallied 12 goals and 24 assists and has recorded two or more points in 10 different games this year. Bratt has 10 goals and 14 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 15 games.

On the other side of the ice, Buffalo is 9-28 straight up (SU) and has lost 19.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 37 regular season outings, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and just three have pushed. Buffalo’s 4-16 SU as an away team this season.

Buffalo has converted on just 11.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s ranked 32nd in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 10th overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.5 percent of all penalties.

Buffalo’s skaters have been penalized 3.6 times per game this season, 3.4 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.4 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (26.9 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Buffalo. Lehner has eight wins, 20 losses, and five overtime losses to his credit, and has registered a .915 save percentage and 2.74 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres will be Evander Kane (15 goals, 19 assists) and Jack Eichel (13 goals, 20 assists).

Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils Betting Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Devils, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • New Jersey (3-2 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Buffalo fell short in its only shootout this season.
  • The total has gone over in three of New Jersey’s last five games.
  • Buffalo has managed 26.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while New Jersey has been attempting 33.8 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • New Jersey has given up just 2.0 goals per game (while scoring 4.2 per contest) in its past five games (the teams a perfect 0-0 SU during that streak).
  • Over New Jersey’s last ten outings, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 6-2 in those games).
  • Buffalo skaters have given out the ninth-most hits in the league (23.2 per game).