Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two teams that split their season series 1-1 a year ago, the Buffalo Sabres and the Calgary Flames collide at the Scotiabank Saddledome for a cross-continent showdown. The match will get started at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, January 22, and it can be viewed live on Sportsnet West.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames Odds

Calgary (-210) is currently favored over Buffalo (+175), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -120 for the under and +100 for the over.

Calgary is 25-21 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.8 units this year. That win percentage, the third-best in the Pacific Division so far in this young season, hasn’t moved much from what the team produced during last years regular season (45-37). Through 46 regular season outings, 25 of the teams games have gone under the total, while 20 have gone over and just one has pushed. This year, the team is 12-12 SU at home.

The Flames have converted on 18.1 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 19th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all penalties.

The Flames, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 5.2 per game over their past five games. The teams had to kill penalties for a whopping 13.8 minutes per game over their last five matchups, overall.

With a .925 save percentage and 29.2 saves per game, Mike Smith (21 wins, 18 losses, and four OT losses) has been the best option in goal for Calgary this season. If Calgary chooses to rest him, however, the team may turn to David Rittich (4-2-2 record, .932 save percentage, 2.03 goals against average).

Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will each look to continue their strong seasons for the Flames. Gaudreau (54 points) has produced 15 goals and 39 assists and has recorded multiple points 17 times this year. Monahan has 21 goals and 21 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 27 games.

On the other side of the ice, Buffalo is 11-35 straight up (SU) and has lost 23.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 46 regular season outings, 23 of its games have gone under the total, while 20 have gone over and just three have pushed. The Sabres are 5-20 SU as the away team this season.

The Sabres have converted on just 14.3 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 26th overall and it’s successfully defended 78.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo’s skaters have been whistled for penalties only 3.6 times per game in total this season, 3.6 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.6 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team has had to kill penalties 11.0 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Robin Lehner (.907 save percentage and 3.06 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner is averaging 26.3 saves per game and owns a 9-26-6 record.

Jack Eichel (18 goals, 26 assists) will pace the attack for the visiting Sabres.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • Two of Calgary’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 0-2 in those games and 2-4 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone under in three of Calgary’s last five outings.
  • Five of Buffalo’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 1-4 in those games.
  • Buffalo skaters have accounted for the 10th-most hits in the league (23.1 per game).