Two of the least-penalized clubs in the National Hockey League, the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes take the ice at Gila River Arena in an East-West showdown. The match will get underway at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 2, and it is being shown live on Fox Sports Arizona.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes Odds
Buffalo (-115) is currently favored over Arizona (-105) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -105 money on the over and -115 on the under.
Buffalo is 3-9 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Seven of its contests have gone over the total, while four have gone under and just one has pushed. As the road team this season, the Sabres are 2-5 SU.
The Sabres have converted on 14.3 percent of their power play opportunities thus far. That’s a noticeable drop-off from last season, when they were ranked first in the league by converting on 24.5 percent of their extra-man chances. Their penalty kill has gotten stronger year-over-year, however, as they’ve gone from successfully defending 77.6 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 25th overall last year) to 82.5 percent this year.
The Sabres, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.6 times per game this season, a number that’s pretty close to the 3.6 penalties per game given up last year. After serving an average of 9.0 penalty minutes per game a year ago, the team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays for 7.4 minutes per matchup this season.
Boasting a .911 save percentage and 24.4 saves per game, Robin Lehner (2-6-1) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo this year. If it chooses to rest him, however, head coach Phil Housley might turn to Chad Johnson (1-5-1), who has a .879 save percentage and 4.07 goals against average this year.
Evander Kane and Jason Pominville will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Sabres. Kane (12 points) is up to six goals and six assists, and has recorded two or more points in three different games. Pominville has six goals and six assists to his name (and has logged a point in six games).
On the other bench, Arizona is 1-12 straight up (SU) and has earned -11.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. 10 of its games have gone over the total, while two have gone under and just one has pushed. So far this year, the team’s 0-5 SU as the home team.
The Coyotes have converted on just 17.0 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 31st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 67.7 percent of all opponent power plays.
Arizona skaters have been sent to the penalty box only 2.9 times per game this season, a number that has improved drastically over the 4.0 penalties per game given up last year. After serving an average of 9.9 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team’s been forced to kill penalties for just 6.7 minutes per contest this year.
The winless Louis Domingue has denied 23.7 shots per game as the primary choice in goal for the Coyotes. Domingue has zero wins and seven losses to his name and has maintained a mediocre 4.33 goals against average and a poor .856 save percentage this season.
The Coyotes will be led on offense by Clayton Keller (nine goals, six assists).
Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Coyotes, O/U – Over
- After posting a 2-6 record in games decided by a shootout last year, Buffalo is off to a 0-1 start in shootouts this season. Arizona went 6-2 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
- The over has hit in each of Arizona’s last five games.
- Arizona has yet to win a game by two more more goals this season.