Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres Matchup


The KeyBank Center plays host to an intriguing matchup as the Buffalo Sabres prepare to face the visiting Florida Panthers. Fox SportsNet Florida will broadcast this divisional matchup, and the opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 18.

Florida Panthers vs. Buffalo Sabres Odds

Buffalo (-130) is favored over Florida (+110) and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -115 for the over and -105 on the under.

The Sabres are 20-14 straight up (SU) and have earned 10.1 units for moneyline bettors this season. That win percentage, ranked third in the Atlantic Division so far in the early season, is a huge turnaround from what the team did during last year’s regular season (25-57). Among the team’s 34 games this season, 18 have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 11-5 SU at home this season.

Buffalo has converted on 19.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, Buffalo has been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, 3.8 per game over its last five contests total, and 3.4 per game over its last five home outings. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays for 8.8 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 28.1 saves per game with a .919 save percentage, Carter Hutton (13 wins, 10 losses, and two OT losses) has been the top goalkeeper for the Sabres this season. If the Sabres decide to give him the evening off, however, head coach Phil Housley might turn to Linus Ullmark (8-4-4 record, .915 save percentage, 2.94 goals against average).

Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner will both be focal points for the Sabres. Eichel (45 points) has tallied 14 goals and 31 assists and has recorded multiple points in 16 different games this year. Skinner has 24 goals and 11 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 23 contests.

Florida has lost 12.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year and is currently 12-19 straight up (SU). A total of 16 of its contests have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under the total and just three have pushed. As a road team, Florida is 5-10 SU so far.

Florida has scored on 27.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that places it in the top-five among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 18th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.9 percent of all opponent power plays.

Florida’s players have been penalized 3.7 times per game this season, and 2.6 per game over their past five match ups. The team’s had to kill penalties just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

James Reimer (.889 save percentage and 3.47 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Florida. Reimer is averaging 23.5 saves per game and has six wins, 12 losses, and three OT losses to his credit.

For the visiting Panthers, the offense will be facilitated through Jonathan Huberdeau (nine goals, 29 assists) and Aleksander Barkov (14 goals, 17 assists).

Florida Panthers at Buffalo Sabres Betting Predictions

Free Prediction: SU Winner \u2013 Sabres, O/U \u2013 Under

Betting Notes

  • Buffalo is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Florida is 1-3 in shootouts.
  • For both of these teams, the total has gone over in four of their last five matches.
  • Florida has attempted 35.3 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 34.6 in its last 10 outings.
  • Florida skaters notched 20.2 hits per game last season, while the Sabres logged 21.5 hits per matchup.