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Buffalo Sabres vs. Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Picks | Preview

2011 NHL Hockey Free Predictions: Sabres vs Penguins

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Buffalo Sabres (35-25-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (38-21-8)
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Broadcast: MSG-B (HD), FS-P (HD)
Sabres vs. Penguins Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Spread: OFF
Moneyline: Buffalo -105: Pittsburgh -115
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

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The Buffalo Sabres have absolutely caught fire and suddenly find themselves occupying an Easter Conference playoff spot. With designs on climbing the ladder and possibly avoiding the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the playoffs, the Sabres will have to beat teams ahead of them in the standings – one of the more vulnerable being the Pittsburgh Penguins who they play on Tuesday night.

The Sabres have a new focus and it all appeared to start when Terry Pegula bought the team and voiced his desire to make the Sabres a serious contender. They acquired Brad Boyes and since that time and have gone 5-0-2 in their last seven games. The offense has picked up and Ryan Miller is finally back to the form that made him into one of the best keepers on the planet.

Buffalo is 9th in goals for in the NHL and their best players have acted like their best players. With Brad Boyes, the Sabres suddenly have two superb and three very good lines.

Along with scoring, the Sabres have been buoyed by the strong goaltending of Ryan Miller who is 4-1-2 in his last seven games with a 2.13 goals against average. He got the night off in Buffalo’s last game so expect a rested Miller to be back on Tuesday.  

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a rough time lately. Although they made moves to replace Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the lineup, James Neal and Alexi Kovalev have disappointed – each is pointless in their last three games.

That leaves the onus on Marc-Andre Fleury. He is 2-1-1 in his last two starts but has an uncharacteristic 3.57 goals against average in those games. Fleury has been solid but he can’t do it all!

Betting Prediction: The Pittsburgh Penguins are 18-10-5 on the road this season but are 6-0-1 in their last seven away from home. The Pittsburgh Penguins are 20-11-2 at home this season and have won all three meetings versus the Sabres this year.

The Penguins are coming off a most impressive win against Boston but with a sketchy lineup, the good moments will be few and far between. The Pens are just 3-3-4 in their last 10 games and I think the woes continue against a confident and cohesive Buffalo team.

Pick: Buffalo Sabres -105 and the Under – 5.5 goals

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