Oilers vs Sabres NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers.
- The Sabres host the Oilers in what's expected to be a high-scoring NHL contest.
- Buffalo is coming off a win, but is below .500 at home this season. Can it win on Monday night?
- Carol Schram digs into the matchup and offers up her best bet below.
Oilers vs. Sabres Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Looking to continue their push for their first playoff berth in 12 years, the Buffalo Sabres will face a tall task when Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers visit KeyBank Center on Monday night.
The Oilers are one of just two teams in the NHL outscoring the Sabres this season, so expect a high-scoring affair.
The Oilers’ playoff spot is pretty secure, but in the tightly packed Western Conference, their seeding is very much in flux. Following a 7-5 loss in Winnipeg on Saturday, the Oilers are sitting in the first wild-card spot. With a 4-3-3 record over their past 10 games, Edmonton has lost ground relative to Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle in the Pacific.
Edmonton general manager Ken Holland went big at the trade deadline, bringing in rugged defenseman Mattias Ekholm and depth forward Nick Bjugstad. Edmonton can often score its way out of trouble, but the Oilers rank 21st defensively and give up an average of 3.31 goals per game.
With a nicely spaced schedule this week, it’s likely Edmonton will turn back to Stuart Skinner in net against the Sabres.
Before Jack Campbell logged the loss in Winnipeg, Skinner had started five of Edmonton’s previous six games and relieved Campbell in the other one. The 24-year-old rookie has a 2.88 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
One big thing for the Sabres to watch out for: Edmonton’s power play. It remains the best in the league by a long shot (31.9%) and has gone 5-for-16 in the past three games.
On Saturday, McDavid broke Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers franchise record with his 58th power-play point this season. The all-time single-season record is held by Mario Lemieux (80 points in 1986-87).
After a big 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, the Buffalo Sabres woke up Sunday morning just three points out of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. According to MoneyPuck, they’re still facing an uphill battle of getting in, with a 21.7% chance as of Sunday. That makes every game doubly important.
We know the Sabres can score and are top-five on the power play. They’re averaging 3.74 goals per game and have five 20-goal scorers, led by Tage Thompson’s 42 goals and 82 points. But their penalty kill, like Edmonton’s, is suspect, and their goaltending is inconsistent.
Eric Comrie has won his past four starts and got the win over the Lightning on Saturday, but he has only played four times since Jan. 26. Rookie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been seeing the majority of the action lately, but has given up four goals or more in his past three starts. And Craig Anderson, at 41, is limited to about one game a week.
On the injury front, the Sabres saw Rasmus Dahlin return to the blue line on Saturday and the status of new defensive acquisition Riley Stillman is uncertain after he left Saturday’s game following a fight.
One other trade-deadline acquisition, forward Jordan Greenway, could make his Sabres debut Monday. Playing primarily in a bottom-six role, the 6’6″ winger had eight points in 45 games with the Minnesota Wild this season.
Oilers vs. Sabres Pick
Given these two teams’ offensive firepower and frequent defensive lapses, it’s not overly surprising to see the high over/under on this game. But when these teams met in Edmonton early in the season, the outcome was a relatively subdued 4-2 win for Buffalo.
After their poor defensive effort against Winnipeg on Saturday, the Oilers should be focused on playing a tighter game, and Skinner should provide more stability in net. Edmonton is good on the road, while the Sabres struggle at home. The Oilers are an impressive 8-3-1 against Atlantic Division opponents.
At -145, the Oilers are considerable favorites for Monday’s matchup, despite being the road team. Unless the Sabres get red-hot goaltending, Edmonton should secure two points on Monday night — quite possibly within 60 minutes.
Pick: Oilers in Regulation (+106) | Play Down to -110
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