In their third and final head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres clash at the KeyBank Center in an Eastern Conference tilt. TVA Sports will showcase the game, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 8.
New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres Odds
New York heads into the matchup as the favorite with a -135 moneyline. The line for Buffalo sits at +115, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).
New York is 26-28 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 54 regular season matches, 34 of its games have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just three have pushed. This 2017-18 Islanders team is 12-16 SU on the road.
New York has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it has successfully killed off only 74.2 percent of its penalties.
The Isles, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties just 3.4 times per game this season, and 2.4 per game over its last five match ups. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 30.8 saves per game with a .910 save percentage, Jaroslav Halak (16-20-4) has been the top option in goal for New York this season. If head coach Doug Weight chooses to rest him, however, the team may go with Thomas Greiss (10-12-2 record, .887 save percentage, 3.94 goals against average).
The visiting Islanders will be led by John Tavares and Josh Bailey. Tavares (59 points) is up to 27 goals and 32 assists, and has recorded multiple points 17 times. Bailey has 13 goals and 44 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 33 games).
Over on the other bench, Buffalo is 14-39 straight up (SU) and has lost 21.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. 28 of its contests have gone under the total, while 22 have gone over and just three have pushed. It’s 6-19 SU at home this year.
The Sabres have converted on just 16.6 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s ranked 24th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.2 percent of all penalties.
Buffalo players have been penalized only 3.6 times per game in total this season, 3.8 per game over their past five games total, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties 13.6 minutes per game over their last five home outings.
Robin Lehner has stopped 26.8 shots per game as the top option in goal for the Sabres. Lehner has 11 wins, 29 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit and has registered a .913 save percentage and 2.83 goals against average this season.
Jack Eichel (21 goals, 30 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the home team.
New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres Free Picks
Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Sabres, O/U – Over
- Five of New York’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 1-4 in those games.
- Power-play chances could be extremely important tonight. The Islanders are 10-15 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-21 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Sabres are 5-14 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-28 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- The under has hit in three of Buffalo’s last five outings.
- Buffalo has given up 3.0 goals per game (while scoring just 1.5 per contest) on its four-game losing skid.
- Buffalo skaters have averaged 5.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.0 giveaways per game (ranked 5th overall).
- New York skaters have averaged 7.2 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 11.4 giveaways per game (ranked 26th in the NHL).
- The Sabres this season have handed the 11th-most hits in the league (22.5 per game).