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Sabres vs. Canadiens NHL Picks / Preview (Apr. 3)

NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Buffalo Sabres vs Montreal Canadiens

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Team records:
Buffalo: 43-24-10
Montreal: 38-32-8

Tonight, 7:05p.m. ET
Sportsbook odds: Sabres -105, Canadiens -115, O/U 5

The Buffalo Sabres skate into Montreal on Saturday night holding down the second seed in the Eastern Conference with five games left to play. The Montreal Canadiens, fresh off an important win against Philadelphia currently own the sixth seed. Is this a first round playoff preview?  It very well could be. Buffalo will be looking for their fifth straight win against their Northeast Division foe.

The Buffalo Sabres have been playing some good hockey recently and have been doing so without goaltender Ryan Miller stealing them games. Prior to their 4-2 loss to the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, the Sabres won three straight games, scoring an uncharacteristic 16 goals in those games. The Sabres could clinch the Northeast Division on Saturday night with a win and an Ottawa loss against the Islanders, and clinch a top three seed in the East, guaranteeing them home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Buffalo appears to be peaking at just the right time. Early and mid season bumps in the road are a distant memory and the goal now is to get healthy, sustain their good play and to maintain momentum going into the playoffs. Derek Roy has been on fire with four goals and three assists in his last four games, Jason Pominville has eight goals and none assists in his last thirteen games and Jochen Hecht has been a force, particularly since the Olympic break.

Make no mistake about it though; this is Ryan Miller’s team. His play is the reason why the Sabres are in this position. He obviously will be the key to the Sabres going forward. There isn’t a better goaltender in the NHL to entrust your teams success with right now.

The Montreal Canadiens continue their drive to the playoffs after an uber-important win in Philadelphia on Friday night. They now sit two points up on both Boston and Philadelphia and are the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens cannot rest easy however, Boston and Philadelphia are right on their heels while the New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers are suddenly threatening to sneak into the playoffs.Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

Montreal, not unlike the Sabres is reliant on good goaltending for their success. Jaroslav Halak has provided the Canadiens with that type of puck stopping this season but has been particularly impressive recently. He is 8-2-1 in his last eleven games and has allowed two or less goals in his last seven games. Halak does have a 0-2 record against Buffalo this year with a 5.04 goals against average. We might see Carey Price in the net.

The offense for the Montreal Canadiens has been in a bit of a slump. They are averaging fewer than two goals per game in their last eight – not a good omen when you have to face Ryan Miller. Still, Thomas Plekanek has shown signs of re-emerging as a threat while Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez have been getting shots on goal (but not many conversions). Mike Cammalleri has not scored in the six games since his return from injury but it is only a matter of time before he gets going.

The Montreal Canadiens need this game more than the Sabres do. It should be a highly competitive game but I think that the Canadiens’ inability to put the puck in the net will be the difference yet again. Even without Tim Connolly and Thomas Vanek, the Sabres should still get it done.

NHL Betting Trends:

The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 5 games
Buffalo is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Montreal
Buffalo is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Buffalo is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Montreal’s last 8 games
Montreal is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
Montreal is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing Buffalo

Sabres vs. Canadiens Free NHL Pick: Buffalo Sabres and the Under.



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