NHL Odds - Rangers at Sabres Game Preview


The Buffalo Sabres will look to win their fourth straight game against the New York Rangers when the teams meet on Thursday night on NBCSN. The Sabres beat the Rangers 4-3 in New York last April and this season they have beaten the Rangers twice, 4-3 in Buffalo and 4-1 in New York. The Sabres are a much improved team this season as they are very much in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference but they will probably still be listed as home underdogs in this contest against New York.

Don't miss the ice action from the KeyBank Center at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBCSN

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

Odds Analysis

Both of these teams played on Tuesday and then had Wednesday off so there is no advantage in terms of rest. The Rangers have been very good on the road this season as they are 17-7 with 14 going over the total, 9 going under with 1 push. Buffalo is 11-11 at home with just 6 games going over, 14 going under with 2 pushes.

When these teams met in Buffalo earlier this season the Rangers were listed as -130 favorites with the total of 5. New York should be listed as a small favorite again on Thursday but the total should be 5.5 as scoring around the NHL has gone up.

Special Teams

New York is 12th in the league on the power play at 20.7%. They are 2nd in the league in goals per game at 3.4 per contest. The Rangers are 13th on the penalty kill at 82.2%. The Rangers are giving up 2.6 goals per game which is 13th in the league.

Buffalo is doing well on the power play as they are 6th in the league at 22.5% but their offense still isn’t that great as they are 24th overall in goals per game at 2.4 per contest. The Sabres are 16th in goals against at 2.7 per contest. They are just 29th on the penalty kill at 74.1%. It is surprising that Buffalo is even in playoff contention considering their poor overall statistics but the team plays hard and they are well coached by Dan Bylsma.

The Sabres need more goal scoring as they rely heavily on Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo to carry them. Okposo realizes the Sabres need to win consistently if they are to make the playoffs. “We probably have to win seven out of 10 the next three segments to try to cement a chance to get in. That’s not an easy thing to do in this league.”

Goalie Report

The Rangers are happy that top goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has turned the corner and regained his confidence. He is 21-14 on the season with a 2.73 goals against average. The backup is Antti Raanta who is still out due to injury so Lundqvist has been starting every game as the current backup is a minor league goaltender named Magnus Hellberg.

Buffalo continues to think that Robin Lehner is a quality goaltender. He is 12-17 on the season with a 2.57 goals against average while backup Anders Nilsson is 8-11 with a 2.60 goals against average.

Free NHL Picks

This has been a streaky series as before their current three-game winning steak the Sabres had lost the previous nine. The game in January that ended 4-1 for the Sabres went under the total but the previous four in the series went over. The Rangers have done well in Buffalo in recent years taking seven of the last ten with the last two going over.

The Rangers have been excellent on the road this season and the trends definitely are in their favor so I will take New York and also play the game over the total.

NHL Odds: Rangers 4, Sabres 2

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