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Buffalo Sabres vs. Toronto Maple Leafs NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Sabres vs Maple Leafs

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Buffalo Sabres (33-26-8) at Toronto Maple Leafs (29-29-10)
Date/Time: Saturday, March 12, 2011, 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Broadcast: CBC (HD), NHLN-US (HD), MSG-B (HD)
Sabres vs. Leafs Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Spread: OFF
Moneyline: Buffalo -115: Toronto -105
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
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The Buffalo Sabres look to continue their utter domination of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night while at the same time putting another dent in the Leafs playoff aspirations. Both teams entered last week among the hottest teams in the NHL. While the Sabres have continued their strong play winning three of their last four games, the Leafs have lost three straight games.

Buffalo plays their last game of a seven game road trip on Saturday – so far they are 4-1-1. They are playing well offensively and Ryan Miller is suddenly the type of goaltender that you don’t want to face in the first round of the playoffs.

Brad Boyes continues to be one of the better trade deadline acquisitions and has six points in six games since arriving in Buffalo, Thomas Vanek has five points in three games and Drew Stafford has sustained his point per game average over his last 17 games.

Ryan Miller has played very well for the Sabres and is finally giving them the goaltending that most expected when the season started – his play will likely be the difference down the stretch for Buffalo.

The Toronto Maple Leafs face a virtual must-win situation on Saturday night. After an impressive 6-0-3 streak, the Leafs have gone 0-2-1 win their last three to significantly reduce the possibility of the team qualifying for this year’s playoffs. Toronto’s best player has suddenly gone cold and their upstart goaltender is finally starting to look human.

Offensively, the Leafs rank 25th in the NHL. Phil Kessel’s hot streak is a thing of the past – he has only recorded one point in his last four games. Michael Grabovski has continued to be Toronto’s most dominant player and has seven points in seven games while Joffrey Lupul is finally starting to pay dividends with goals in two straight games. Nikolai Kulemin has been OK and Clarke MacArthur has significantly cooled off.

James Reimer looked like a savior for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He, like the Leafs has fallen on hard times as of late – Reimer has a 4.42 goals against average in his last three outings. Without quality goaltending, the Leafs are in deep trouble.

Betting Prediction: The Buffalo Sabres are 19-11-5 on the road this season but are 4-1-1 in their last six games away from home. The Sabres have won 13 of the last 15 games overall against Toronto and have won nine of the last ten games at Air Canada Center. The Toronto Maple Leafs are 15-13-7 at home this season and have lost three straight games. The Leafs are a miserable 3-14 in their last 17 games on Saturday night.

The clock has struck midnight on the Leafs. While their ascension up the standings has been impressive, ultimately it appears to have only taken them out of the opportunity for a high draft choice. Buffalo is hot, they are confident and they are masterful against the Leafs.

Pick: Buffalo Sabres -115

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Comments

Comments

  1. HuskersBusker41 says:

    It would’ve been more than a dent… had the Sabres won this game, I think it would have been the death stroke for the Leafs’ playoff aspirations. Even as it is it will take near a miracle, with Toronto’s average (and that’s generous) talent level for them to squeak in. It would really help if Kessel got on one of his patented torrid hot streaks.

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