Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two teams currently on losing skids, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers face off at Madison Square Garden for an Eastern Conference matchup. The puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 24, and it is being shown live on MSG Network.

Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers Odds

New York (+155) is entering this one as the underdog to New York (-175), and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -120 under, +100 over.

Producing 9.3 units for moneyline bettors, New York is 32-42 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 48-34 record that the team managed during last years regular season campaign. Of its 74 games this season, 41 have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 20-18 SU at home this season.

The Rangers have converted on 21.7 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated sixth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.

The Rangers, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.5 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties for just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, overall.

Boasting a .915 save percentage and 29.1 saves per game, Henrik Lundqvist (25 wins, 34 losses, and six OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for New York this year. If New York chooses to give him the evening off, however, head coach Alain Vigneault might roll with Ondrej Pavelec (5-11-11 record, .910 save percentage, 3.01 goals against average).

The Broadway Blueshirts will continue relying on leadership from Mats Zuccarello and Vladislav Namestnikov. Zuccarello (49 points) has tallied 15 goals and 34 assists and has recorded two or more points nine times this year. Namestnikov has 22 goals and 25 assists to his name and has notched a point in 35 contests.

Over on the other bench, Buffalo is 23-51 straight up (SU) and has lost 17.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 74 regular season contests, 36 of its games have gone under the total, while 33 have gone over and just four have pushed. The Sabres are 12-23 SU as the away team this season.

The Sabres have converted on just 16.9 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 26th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 21st overall and it’s successfully defended 78.8 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo’s skaters have been called for penalties 3.5 times per game this season, and 2.4 per game over their past five outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (27.3 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Buffalo. Lehner owns a 14-37-9 record, and has registered a .911 save percentage and 2.93 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres will be Jack Eichel (22 goals, 32 assists) and Ryan O’Reilly (20 goals, 32 assists).

Buffalo Sabres at New York Rangers Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • New York is 3-5 in games decided by a shootout this season while Buffalo is 1-2 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in each of New York’s last five outings.
  • New York has allowed 3.2 goals per game overall this year, but has given up 4.3 goals per contest over its three-game losing streak.
  • Over Buffalo’s last ten games, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-6 in those games).