Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their third and last head-to-head matchup of the regular season, the Buffalo Sabres and the Washington Capitals face off at Capital One Arena in an Eastern Conference showdown. The match will get going at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, and it can be viewed live on NBC Sports Washington.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals Odds

Washington (-230) is currently favored over Buffalo (+190), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Earning moneyline bettors 2.1 units, Washington is 34-27 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, the second-best in the Metropolitan Division so far in this young season, is a big slide from what the team recorded during the 2016-17 season (55-27). Of the teams 61 games this season, 35 have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 20-11 SU at home this year.

The Capitals have been able to convert on 21.3 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.8 percent of all penalties.

The Capitals, as a collective unit, have been whistled for penalties 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over their last five games at home. The team has had to stave off opposition power plays for a whopping 15.6 minutes per game over their last five matchups, overall.

Sporting a .909 save percentage and 28.6 saves per game, Braden Holtby (28 wins, 17 losses, and four OT losses) has been the best goalkeeper for Washington this season. If Washington chooses to rest him, however, the team may turn to Philipp Grubauer (6-15-15 record, .916 save percentage, 2.62 goals against average).

The Caps will continue looking for leadership via Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ovechkin (68 points) has tallied 36 goals and 32 assists and has recorded two or more points on 18 different occasions this year. Kuznetsov has 16 goals and 39 assists to his name and has notched a point in 37 contests.

Buffalo is 18-43 straight up (SU) and has lost 19.1 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 30 of its contests have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just four have pushed. As the visiting team, the Sabres are 10-21 SU.

The Sabres have converted on just 17.4 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 23rd overall and it’s successfully killed off 79.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo’s skaters have been called for penalties 3.6 times per game this season, 3.4 per game over their past five games total, and 3.4 per game over their last five road outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (27.0 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner has 13 wins, 32 losses, and eight OT losses to his credit, while registering a .911 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average this year.

Jack Eichel (22 goals, 31 assists) will lead the attack for the visiting Sabres.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals Betting Predictions

Free Pick: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • This game features two of the more physical teams in the league. Buffalo skaters have accounted for the ninth-most hits in the league (22.4 per game) while the Caps have recorded the 12th-most (22.1).