The end of the NHL regular season is nearly here, but that does not mean the Penguins vs Sabres game tonight does not have significance. You may be wondering what interest you could possibly have in an end of season game between a 15 win team and a 35 win team who is solidly in the playoffs.
Well, this Penguins vs Sabres game offers betting opportunities, and actually will play a major role in Eastern Conference NHL Playoff seeding.
Penguins (35-16-3) vs Sabres (15-32-7) Betting Odds and Time
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Penguins vs Sabres NHL Playoff Implications
The Penguins are guaranteed a playoff spot this season, but as which seed is yet to be determined.
Currently, the Penguins are tied with the Washington Capitals for first place in the MassMutual East Division with 73 points each. Pittsburgh needs to take advantage of the fact they get to end their season with what should be two cake walk games against the dead last Buffalo Sabres.
They have a much easier path to those final available and coveted points than the Capitals, who face no easy task against both the Flyers and Bruins to round out their season.
Penguins vs Sabres Season Series in Review
The Penguins vs Sabres season series has been extremely lopsided. In six meetings thus far, the Penguins have outskated, outscored, and straight up outclassed the Sabres, racking up five wins to just one loss, and outscoring Buffalo 22-10 along the way.
The only Penguins loss to the Sabres came during their last contest on April 18th. It is unlikely Buffalo will defeat them twice in a row, especially given all that is on the line for Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Penguins vs Sabres home/away records could not be anymore opposite.
Maybe unsurprisingly given the fact they were only able to muster 15 wins all season, but the Sabres are absolutely brutal on the road. They own a road record of 7-16-3, which is somehow not the worst in the NHL, but does not look promising up against the Penguins home record of 20-4-2, which is tied for second best in the NHL, just one game behind Tampa Bay.
There is absolutely nothing to suggest the Penguins won’t continue their established dominance tonight.
Penguins vs Sabres Game Preview
This Penguins vs Sabres game will likely go just like all the others have. The Sabres will have no legitimate chance, and the Penguins will win by at least two or three goals.
The only outside factor to consider tonight is that the Sabres will be starting a goaltender the Penguins have yet to see this season. Michael Houser from Youngstown Ohio is a 28 years old undrafted player, but has floated around the league for nearly nine years. He finally earned the first start of his career just three nights ago against the New York Islanders.
Houser proved his worth, racking up 84 saves with a .940 sv% on his way to back to back wins on back to back nights for the Sabres. He even survived a shootout in the second game.
He will now face easily his toughest task to date in the form of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who average 3.41 goals per game, the third highest in the NHL.
Beyond the challenges the Penguins present, is simply the fact the Sabres are asking him to play in, let alone win, three NHL games in four calendar days. This is something even the most talented and seasoned vets struggle to accomplish. Don’t expect Houser to completely fall apart, but don’t expect him to maintain that .940 sv% either.
The Penguins vs Sabres have yet to go to over time this season, and that trend should not change tonight.
The Penguins should take care of business easily. The ML is steep at -350 but feel free to include it in any parlay you might have.
I will be taking the Penguins in regulation (-250), and may toss a half unit on each the team total over 3.5 (-165) and puckline -1.5 (-145)
The are steep, but they are very promising winners.
Penguins vs Sabres Picks
Penguins in regulation (-250) / TT o3.5 (-165) / Penguins -1.5 (-145)