The KeyBank Center plays host to an Eastern Conference showdown as the Buffalo Sabres take the ice against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. Sportsnet will showcase the game, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Buffalo Sabres Odds
Pittsburgh is 13-13 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 26 regular season contests, 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and none have pushed. The Pens are 5-10 SU on the road in 2017-18.
Pittsburgh currently touts the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 26.3 percent of its extra-man chances this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th in the league, and the teams successfully killed off only 76.7 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Pittsburgh has been penalized 4.7 times per game this season, and 4.0 per game over its last five games. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Averaging 26.6 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Matt Murray (12-9-1) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If head coach Mike Sullivan decides to rest him, however, Pittsburgh could roll with Tristan Jarry (2-2-2 record, .907 save percentage, 2.83 goals against average).
The visiting Penguins have relied on Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby this season. Kessel (32 points) has tallied 11 goals and 21 assists, and has recorded two or more points eight times. Crosby has 10 goals and 15 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 15 games).
On the other bench, Buffalo is 6-19 straight up (SU) and has already lost 13.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 25 regular season outings, 13 of its games have gone under the total, while 10 have gone over and just two have pushed. The teams 3-9 SU at home this year.
Buffalo has converted on just 12.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places it in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 15th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.1 percent of all penalties.
Buffalo players have been whistled for penalties only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five match ups. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Robin Lehner has stopped 24.4 shots per game as the top choice in goal for Buffalo. Lehner has five wins, 14 losses, and two OT losses to his name and has maintained a mediocre 2.92 goals against average and a subpar .906 save percentage this year.
The Sabres will be led on offense by Evander Kane (12 goals, 11 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Sabres, O/U – Over
- Pittsburgh’s attempted 35.6 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 35.6 in its last 10 games.
- Over Buffalo’s last ten outings, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-5 in those games).
- This game features two of the more aggressive defenses in the league. Pittsburgh skaters have given out the leagues eighth-most hits per game (23.8) while the Sabres have recorded the 10th-most (22.2).