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The Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers are both having eerily similar seasons and are both coming off tough defeats in their recent games. The Sabres and Rangers came into the season with high hopes but have been two of the worst teams in the East Division and NHL thus far. The Rangers are hoping to cap off the 3 game homestand with a win and to finish 2-1 in the stretch as they will begin a tough road trip later this week.
Sabres offense is a mess
The Buffalo Sabres signed Taylor Hall this offseason to give the team a jolt offensively and pair up with the young rising star Jack Eichel on the top line. That has been anything but the case for the Sabres this season as Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel have combined for just 3 goals this season as part of a struggling offense that is scoring 2.2 goals per game. With the Sabres currently in the last place in the East Division, there have been rumors about the team trading some of their stars for draft picks if things don’t start to turn around.
The defense has been playing surprisingly well this season to keep the games close, allowing only 2.9 goals per game. Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen have been a great top pairing, combining for 2 defensive point shares and 29 blocked shots while Brandon Montour and Colin Miller have combined for 42 blocked shots on the season. The Sabres will have to find a replacement for Linus Ulmark who only allowed 2.4 goals per game but will miss the upcoming month to a lower-body injury.
Rangers are struggling offensively
The Rangers were already having trouble finding offense this season only to find out that things can and did get worse. Their star scorer, Artemi Panarin, took a leave of absence last week after a fallout involving him in his home country of Russia. As he dealt with the issues, the Rangers had to search for scoring in a lineup that is only scoring 2.5 goals per game. Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome are playing well with 15 combined goals on the season but the rest of the offense is struggling.
Find him and he will score. pic.twitter.com/Pd0NadNjHM
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 28, 2021
The defense on the other hand is playing incredibly this season and keeping the Rangers competitive this season. Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren have combined for 2.8 defensive point shares and 65 blocked shots this season while K’Andre Miller is adding 1.1 defensive point shares as well. In addition, the goaltending duo of Alexandar Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin has helped keep the puck out of the net with the duo allowing only 2.5 goals per game.
Rangers are 6-2 in their last 8 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
Rangers are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
Sabres are 1-4 in their last 5 games playing on 1 day’s rest.
Sabres are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. NHL.
Sabres are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. East.
Sabres are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
Sabres are 0-4 in their last 4 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Sabres have been embarrassingly bad this season, arguably the worst team in the NHL this season. While they are poised to eventually snap out of their losing streak and the Rangers seem like the team to win against, it’s hard to see that happening anytime soon. The Rangers should be able to limit the Sabres struggling offense with the likes of Miller, Fox, and Lindgren while also finding the back of the net enough times with their top line against a backup goalie who in all likelihood will be Carter Hutton. The Rangers should win this game and possibly by a few goals as the Sabres continue to slide.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
The Sabres were shutout in their last two games and many would think that the Sabres are poised for a bounce-back game, the Rangers defense should be able to keep them at bay. The Rangers defense has been playing well this season and should constantly eliminate a struggling Sabres offense and likewise, the Sabres’ top pairing of McCabe and Ristolainen should be able to prevent the Rangers from running up the score. Both teams have been playing terribly on the offensive end and as a result, the Under should be able to cover.