Islanders vs. Sabres NHL Odds, Preview & Predictions (Tuesday, Feb. 15)
Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Scott Mayfield
- The Islanders are favored as they look to close out their road trip strong in Buffalo tonight.
- The Sabres have been struggling all season long, but things have gone pretty much as expected for them.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Islanders vs. Sabres Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110o / -110u)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Islanders are wrapping up a four-game road trip and are hoping to finish it on a positive note. They failed to find a win in Alberta as they lost to the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames in back-to-back games, but the Islanders got the best of Buffalo the last time these two teams met as they won by the score of 4-1.
The Buffalo Sabres are coming off of a strong performance in Montreal as they defeated the Canadiens 5-3 on a four-goal, five-point performance from Jeff Skinner.
Islanders Struggling to Score
The New York Islanders had a very strong start to this road trip after beating the Vancouver Canucks 6-3, but the last two games have not gone their way. The Isles still have a couple of games in hand on the other teams in the Metropolitan division, but if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs, they must beat the weaker teams in the Eastern conference.
The Isles may have lost by a lopsided score of 5-2 last time out, but the game was much closer than the scoreboard implied. New York actually won the expected goals battle as it was expected to score 2.37 goals, while the Flames were expected 2.17. Ilya Sorokin had an uncharacteristically poor performance as he allowed five goals on 29 shots, but he has been the Islanders’ backbone all season long, so he should bounce back.
Sorokin is 14-10-5 on the season with a .920 save percentage and a 3.1 Goals Saved Above Expected. As a team, the Islanders are expected to give up only 2.66 goals per 60 minutes, while also allowing 10.94 high-danger chances. They should be able to slow down the Sabres’ mediocre offense, but the Islanders will need to finish on their chances.
New York has struggled on the offensive end all season long. It has only scored three goals in its last two games and is only expected to score 2.34 goals per game. The Islanders don’t get enough shots on goal as they rank 28th, only averaging 28.8 shots per game. They will need to get more pucks on net against a weak Sabres team. We’ve seen the Islanders explode offensively at times, like their game in Vancouver on Wednesday night where they put up five goals in the first period.
Sorokin should have a strong showing, but the question remains to be if the Islanders scorers will show up.
Sabres’ Season Going as Expected
The Buffalo Sabres were not expected to have a very successful season and their record shows it. They are 15-24-8 on the year and 7-12-4 on home ice. That being said, the Sabres have looked solid in their two games following the All-Star break. They had a strong outing at home on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets but fell short, losing 4-3 in overtime. They responded well in Montreal, beating the league’s worst team off of a career performance by Skinner.
The Sabres haven’t announced a starter for this one yet, but I could see veteran net-minder Craig Anderson getting the nod for the second game in a row. Anderson got the start in Montreal and stopped 29 of 32 shots. Anderson hasn’t played a ton this year, but in the nine games that he’s started he has a record of 6-3-0 , a .916 save percentage and a +0.2 Goals Saved Above Expected.
The Sabres have not been a very strong team on the defensive end this year. They rank 28th in goals allowed per game as they are giving up 3.47 per contest while allowing 29 shots on goal. The Sabres are also giving up 12.29 high-danger chances per 60 minutes.
Buffalo has found some production in its last two games, scoring six combined goals. Skinner and Tage Thompson have led the way for Buffalo, Skinner with 20 goals and 14 assists and Thompson adding 15 goals and 18 assists in what has been a career year. Buffalo is only averaging 2.62 goals per game and scored just one goal the last time these two teams met. It will be a challenge for the Sabres to score tonight.
Islanders vs. Sabres Pick
The Islanders have a lot of pressure on them to win some games down the stretch of the season. It has been a completely disappointing year, but they haven’t lost hope just yet. Every team always wants to end a road trip on a strong note, which makes me think that the Islanders will come out buzzing.
Buffalo has been solid in its last two games, but doesn’t have the roster to sustain the strong play. The Sabres don’t have much of a home ice advantage and the Islanders have been a decent road team with a record of 8-9-3 on the year.
The Islanders have the edge in goaltending and they play a very strong defensive style game. The Sabres don’t have many offensive weapons so I believe that the Islanders will limit them. I think the Islanders come out strong and don’t look back. They should be able to get this one done in 60 minutes.
Pick: Islanders in regulation -115