Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Islanders Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders take the ice at the Barclays Center in an Eastern Conference matchup. MSG Network will air the game, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 27.

Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Islanders Odds

With a -185 moneyline, New York enters the matchup as the obvious favorite. The line for Buffalo sits at +160, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-130 for the under, +110 for the over).

New York is 19-17 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 0.7 units this year. That early-season winning percentage is fairly close to the 41-41 record the team managed during the 2016-17 season campaign. Of its 36 games this season, 25 have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and just one has pushed. The teams 11-6 SU at home this season.

The Islanders have converted on 22.8 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 30th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 73.6 percent of all penalties.

The Islanders, as a collective unit, have been penalized just 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, overall.

Averaging 27.1 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Jaroslav Halak (10 wins, 11 losses, and two OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for the Isles this season. If the Isles choose to rest him, however, head coach Doug Weight may turn to Thomas Greiss (9-9-9 record, .883 save percentage, 3.83 goals against average).

The Isles will continue seeking leadership from John Tavares and Josh Bailey. Tavares (46 points) is up to 21 goals and 25 assists and has recorded two or more points 14 times this year. Bailey has 10 goals and 36 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 24 contests.

Buffalo is 9-27 straight up (SU) and has lost 18.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 36 regular season matches, 19 of its games have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and just three have pushed. As the road team so far, the Sabres are 4-15 SU.

The Sabres have converted on just 12.3 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 12th overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo’s players have been called for penalties 3.7 times per game this season, and 4.4 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Robin Lehner (.915 save percentage and 2.73 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner is averaging 26.7 saves per game and owns an 8-19-4 record.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres will be Evander Kane (15 goals, 18 assists) and Jack Eichel (13 goals, 19 assists).

Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • Seven of New York’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 2-5 overall in those games.
  • The Sabres are 2-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-20 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total.
  • The total has gone over in each of New York’s last five outings.
  • New York skaters have averaged 14.2 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 11.4 giveaways per game (ranked 25th).
  • Buffalo has averaged 4.2 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.3 giveaways per game (the fifth-fewest in the league).
  • Buffalo skaters have given out the seventh-most hits in the league (23.4 per game).