Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Lightning vs Sabres NHL Odds
Looking for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Lightning taking on the Sabres on Saturday March 4th at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions.
(29-25-8) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres (27-26-11)
Date: Saturday March 4th
Time: 4:00 PM
Venue: KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Sabres -102
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds:
NHL Betting Total: 5.5
Live NHL Odds
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Tampa Bay was considered a winner at the trade deadline, seeing GM Steve Yzerman make moves to address the cap concerns that shrouded the team heading into next season with some key free agents to sign.
Buffalo, on the other hand, didn’t make any of the moves that many predicted and will see some pending-UFA defenseman potentially walk in the summer for nothing.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steve Yzerman has continued to have a pulse on the league and market for players, and made some astute maneuvers to give his team the best chance to succeed next year.
He was able to move Valtteri Filppula and his $5-million cap hit next season to Philadelphia, in return for Mark Streit. Streit was then flipped to Pittsburgh for a 4th round draft pick and gave the Lightning some crucial cap space.
Also out are Brian Boyle and Ben Bishop, two pending free agents that were dealt to acquire future assets, as well as back-up goalie, Peter Budaj.
With all the maneuvers, Yzerman kept his solid core group together and the team still sits just four points back of the final wildcard spot. Nikita Kucherov will have to continue his elite production this season, currently sitting with 61 points in 55 games played.
Victor Hedman has been one of the league’s best defenders this season, seeing his 53 points sit third among defenseman scoring behind just Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson.
With the trade of Ben Bishop to the LA Kings, the number-1 job now firmly belongs to Andrei Vasilevskiy. The young netminder owns a .911 SV% and a 2.75 GAA on the season.
With pending free agents defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson not being dealt at the deadline, the Buffalo Sabres were pegged as losers on trade deadline day.
Two assets, in a market where most contenders could have used help on the blueline, who are both on expiring deals had no reason not to be sold for future assets.
Evander Kane was also rumored to be on the block, with one year remaining on a deal that pays him $6-million annually.
Kane has performed well, leading the Sabres with 23 goals, but either Buffalo overvalued his stock or they felt that the draft might have been a better time to move him.
Jack Eichel is the player that GM Tim Murray will need to build around, after selecting him #2 overall at the 2015 Draft. Eichel has 40 points in 43 games after missing the first month with an ankle injury.
Murray dealt a high pick for goalie Robin Lehner when he took over as GM of Buffalo, and it appears to have paid off.
Lehner owns a .921 SV% and a 2.63 GAA on the season while starting the majority of their games.
NHL Betting Trends:
- Tampa Bay rank 13th in goals per game this year at 2.8
- In Tampa’s last 10 games, the over has only reached three times.
- Tampa Bay is 12-14-6 on the road this year
- Buffalo is on a four-game losing skid entering the game
- Buffalo is 16-11-5 at home
- Buffalo has a minus-27 goal differential on the season
Free Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres NHL Hockey Prediction:
Neither of these two teams have been eliminated from playoffs yet, but the odds are slim, especially for Buffalo.
Tampa Bay made some moves toward the future, yet still kept the key parts intact and the ability to try to go on a run for the final wildcard seed.
4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Moneyline
I like Tampa to push toward that playoff spot with a win.
NHL Free Score Prediction: Tampa Bay-3 – Buffalo-2
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