NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Islanders vs. Sabres
Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Buffalo Sabres players Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch
- The Buffalo Sabres are looking to rebound from a tough loss and face a New York Islanders squad that has struggled of late.
- New York enters this game on the second half of a back-to-back and is looking to avoid its third straight loss.
- Jonny Lazarus previews the game and offers up his best bet below.
Islanders vs. Sabres Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
The New York Islanders are having a very difficult time winning games right now and, to make matters worse, they’ll play the Buffalo Sabres on the second half of a back-to-back.
The Sabres are coming off of one of their worst losses of the season as they let a two-goal lead slip away against the worst team in the NHL, so they will be looking for a very strong bounce-back game on home ice.
This will be the first meeting between these teams this year and it should be a fun one.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are in the middle of their worst stretch of the season. They have lost six of their past seven contests and this is going to be their third game in four nights.
The Islanders’ main concern is how poor their power play has been. They have only scored three goals on the man advantage over their past 51 attempts, truly horrendous. As a collective, this team has scored 11 goals over its past seven games.
Ilya Sorokin is the expected starter for the Islanders since Semyon Varlamov played Wednesday. Sorokin has had a strong season, but he is basically going to have to stand on his head if his team is going to have any chance at winning. Sorokin has a 15-14-3 record, a .925 save percentage and a 2.30 goals against average. He gives his team a chance to win every time he starts, but he needs the guys in front of him to score some goals.
This is a massive game for the Buffalo Sabres as they continue to try and creep up the standings and get into playoff position. They are five points back from the Islanders and just six points out of a playoff spot.
The Sabres have the second-highest-scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.77 goals per game. They haven’t been at their best over their most recent stretch of games and have only won once in their past six games. Though this feels like a night where they can turn that around.
Buffalo has five players with 40 points or more this season, led by Tage Thompson, who is sixth in the league in scoring. Additionally, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch, Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens are having phenomenal seasons, continuing to be reliable when it comes to offensive production.
Buffalo’s offense is immensely better than that of the Islanders.
Islanders vs. Sabres Pick
The Islanders have played a ton of hockey lately and it hasn’t been very strong hockey. The only advantage New York has in this matchup is goaltending, but at the end of the day, you need to score goals to win hockey games and that is something I can’t rely on the Islanders to do.
The Sabres know how important this game is and are going to come out as desperate as ever to get two points.
The Islanders are 1-5 in their past six road games and are 0-4 in their past four trips to Buffalo.
Pick: Buffalo Sabres Moneyline (-115)