Tuesday night brings an intriguing Eastern Conference matchup between the Buffalo Sabres and the Carolina Hurricanes, two teams on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of contending. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. EST at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Buffalo is coming off a big 6-4 win over the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs, with Alex Tuch playing hero. As for Carolina, they also won last time out, taking down Matthew Barzal and the New York Islanders in overtime. The Canes will be without netminder Frederik Andersen for the foreseeable future, but we'll look into that more below. Keep reading for the Sabres vs Hurricanes picks.
Sabres vs Hurricanes Odds
The Hurricanes are a big favorite here at -200 on the moneyline at BetUS. The Sabres return at +170. The total in goals is set at 6.5. Carolina has won 14 of the last 16 meetings with Buffalo but did lose their most recent matchup last season. It stands to reason why the Canes are expected to come out victorious on Tuesday.
Buffalo Looking to Keep it Rolling
The Sabres have been pretty poor for numerous years now and will be hoping to change the narrative this season. So far, they're 6-6-0 which is good enough for sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo heads into Tuesday with two wins in their last three outings, beating the Flyers and Leafs while also losing to Philly. This team isn't one that shines in any particular area, ranking towards the middle of the pack in several categories. They're scoring 3.25 goals per game while allowing 3.17 goals as well. The Sabres tend to struggle when it comes to producing opportunities though, tallying just 29 shots on target per night. That's 26th in the NHL.
Saturday's performance in Toronto was definitely a positive one. The Sabres overcame an Auston Matthews hat-trick to grab the 6-4 victory, exposing the Maple Leafs' poor depth and blue-line struggles. Buffalo went into the third period trailing 4-3 but exploded for three goals, with Tuch scoring the game-winner. He also added an empty netter to seal the deal. Tage Thompson also scored, arguably their best player.
Thompson now has six goals and four assists on this young season, while Jeff Skinner has also scored six and assisted five. The likes of Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin, and Casey Mittelstadt are all doing their part, too. The Sabres will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them against the Hurricanes though, a group with boatloads of talent and the utmost experience. Buffalo has a 3-2-0 record on the road.
Canes Great at Home
7-5-0 doesn't seem like a great record, but Carolina is after all in third spot in the Metropolitan Division and only three points behind the New York Rangers. The Hurricanes are undoubtedly seen as a Stanley Cup contender again after losing in the conference finals to the Florida Panthers earlier this year and have a great core intact. That being said, Andersen going on the shelf hurts given his importance. It's not a season-ending issue however and Anti Raanta is more than capable of holding down the fort for the time being.
Offense is the clear strength for Carolina. They're scoring 3.42 goals per game which is 10th in the NHL and tallying the second-most shots on goal. Teuvo Teravainen leads the way with eight goals, while Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Seth Jarvis have five apiece. Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov have yet to really get going too, which goes to show just how good this squad can be.
However, Aho was the difference-maker over the weekend, scoring the winner in overtime. The Hurricanes were down three goals at one point but rallied to force an extra five minutes. Svechnikov also contributed to the win, adding two assists. Carolina is now 4-1 in their last five and owns a perfect 3-0-0 record at PNC Arena. That bodes well for Tuesday, especially considering their success against Buffalo.
Sabres vs Hurricanes Picks
This Hurricanes attack is daunting and I personally do think it'll be too much for the Sabres. While I do believe the visitors will score their fair share of goals too, the best bet is likely the Carolina moneyline.
Take a look at our reviews of the top online sportsbooks for your best betting needs, including our Bovada Online Sportsbook review: