NHL Odds - Blackhawks at Sabres Game Preview


Hockey Day in America on Sunday has 11 games on the schedule including the Chicago Blackhawks visiting the Buffalo Sabres in a game that can be seen on NBCSN. The Blackhawks are in second place in the Central Division while the Sabres are fighting to stay in Wild Card contention in the Eastern Conference. It has been nothing but misery for Buffalo in this series of late as they have lost the last ten games. Buffalo has not beaten Chicago since 2009.

This war on the ice will go down Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 6 p.m. ET at KeyBank Center. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.

We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Sunday schedule.

Odds Analysis

The Blackhawks are playing the second half of a back-to-back as they were home against Edmonton on Saturday. Normally playing with no rest is a concern but keep in mind that Chicago just came off their bye week and teams have been awful this season in the first game after their bye but much better in the second game. Chicago is 17-11 on the road this season with 10 games going over, 11 going under with 7 pushes.

Buffalo is actually in a worse spot even though they are playing at home as they are playing their third game in four days and with no rest as they were home against Colorado on Thursday, off on Friday and then home against St. Louis on Saturday. And Buffalo hasn’t been anything special on home ice as the Sabres were just 13-14 in their first 27 home games with 9 going over, 16 going under with 2 pushes.

Special Teams

Chicago is 16th in the league on the power play at 19.6% and they average 2.9 goals per game which is 8th in the league. The Blackhawks are poor on the penalty kill as they rank 28th in the league at 76.8% while they are 9th in goals against at 2.6 per contest.

Buffalo has the top power play in the league at 23.1% and they need it because the Sabres are just 25th in goals per game at 2.5 per contest. The Sabres are a poor penalty killing team at 29th in the league at 74.3% and Buffalo is allowing 2.7 goals per game which is 14th in the league.

Buffalo is giving up far too many shots per game as they allow over 34 per contest which is the most in the NHL. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Sabres got a lot of shots but they don’t. Buffalo has the second worst shot differential in the NHL as they take under 30 per game and give up more than 34 per contest.

Goalie Report

This is the second half of a back-to-back so it is possible the Blackhawks will give backup Scott Darling the start in this one. He is 13-7 on the season with a 2.24 goals against average while starter Corey Crawford is 22-15 with a 2.57 goals against average.

The Sabres have Robin Lehner who is 15-22 with a 2.55 goals against average while backup Anders Nilsson is 9-11 with a 2.67 goals against average.

Free NHL Picks

As noted earlier, the Sabres haven’t beaten the Blackhawks since 2009, losing ten straight. Chicago pulled out a 4-3 win at home last month in a game that went over the total. The Blackhawks have won the last four games in Buffalo with the Sabres last win coming in 2009.

The Blackhawks are definitely the better team in this matchup and they have a number of other things in their favor including the situation and the overwhelming series trends. I will lay the small price and take the Blackhawks to get the road win on Sunday.

NHL Odds: Blackhawks 4, Sabres 2

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