Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers

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The Buffalo Sabres are traveling to the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night to take on the Philadelphia Flyers in an East Division matchup. These teams squared off four times already but last played on Feb 28 in Buffalo. In that game, Philadelphia picked up a 3-0 shutout victory. The Buffalo Sabres (6-14-3, 15 points) are last in the East Division and are riding a seven-game losing streak after losing on the road on Sunday 5-2 against the New York Islanders. The Philadelphia Flyers (12-7-3, 27 points) are on a two-game skid themselves. They last played on Sunday against the Washington Capitals and lost 3-1.

These teams are struggling on the defensive side of the ice so it will be interesting to see which team can figure out which team can get some stops. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers.

Passing the Puck Well

The Buffalo Sabres have been shaky in the early stages of this season and one of the bright spots is the play of center Jack Eichel, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is missing center Zemgus Girgensons but it is a longer-term injury so the lines will get some chemistry along the way while he recovers. The second-overall pick from 2015 leads the team in assists with 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) this season and has recorded five assists in his last six games played. In the last game against the New York Islanders, he finished with an assist on a shot on goal in 19:55 on the ice. Eichel has shown the ability to be one of the best players and needs to be more a scoring factor to complement their defense. The Flyers are one of the better teams on the defensive sides of the ice so it will be an interesting matchup.

Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton have split time in the net this season for the Sabres and have been struggling as a goalie unit. Hutton has been starting lately and is 1-7-1 this season with a 3.40 goals against per game and a 88.3% save rate. In his last game against the New York Islanders, he allowed five goals on 29 shots. On the season, he allowed 28 goals on 240 shots. Buffalo, as a team, has allowed 75 goals this season, which is 18th in the league. They need to be better at killing power plays as they have allowed nine power-play goals on 51 power plays opportunities (82.35 kill percentage). Philadelphia is an average offense and these teams played against each other so much that Hutton and co. have seen almost everything the Flyers can throw at them.

Winner Winner Left Winger

The Philadelphia Flyers have been playing very well in the early stages of this season and one reason has been the play of left winger James van Riemsdyk, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is relatively healthy as they only have two players listed on the injury report. Riemsdyk is leading all the team in points and assists as he has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) this season and has been struggling as he has not recorded a point in his last three games. In his last game against the Washington Capitals, he finished without scoring a point while attempting just two shots in 17:39 on the ice. Riemsdyk has shown the ability to be one of the best players and it’ll be time to see if the Sabres can stop him on the defensive side of the puck to extend his cold streak.

Carter Hart and Brian Elliott have both spent time in the net this season for the Flyers and have been playing solid as a goalie unit. Hart got the nod in the goal in the last game against the Capitals and he allowed three goals on 27 shots in a loss to bring his record to 6-5-3 so far this season. On the season, he allowed 46 goals in 430 shots. Philadelphia has allowed 69 goals this season, which is 14th in the league. They have been below average against opposing power plays as they have killed 52-of-72 (72.22 percent) of them so far this season. The Sabres are an average offense in the league so this will be a chance for the Flyers to get back within the top of the East Division.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Scoring the puck is one of the most important aspects in picking up wins in the NHL. Buffalo is 29th in the league with 2.17 goals per game this season while Philadelphia is eighth in the league with 3.23 goals a night. Looking at the home/road splits can give us an indication on where we should be leaning as well. The Sabres are 4-7-1 on the road this year while the Flyers are 6-3-2 in the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia is 3-1 so far against Buffalo so it makes sense to expect another win here for the Flyers in this game.

Prediction:
Philadelphia -234

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

Looking at the total goals scored in each of their last five games played is a good indication to figure out where we should be leaning. The Sabres are averaging 5.8 total goals per game in this span while the Flyers are averaging 5.6 total goals per game in their last five outings. These teams are averaging less shots per game than the average team this season as Buffalo is 25th in the league with 28.7 shots per game while Philadelphia is 30th in the league with 27.3 shots per game this year. The under has hit in four of the last five games that the Sabres and Flyers played against one another. The numbers and trends all lean towards the UNDER in this game.

Prediction:
UNDER 5.5