It’s just a two-game slate on the ice tonight, but I’ll be locking in bets for both games! The action starts on the east coast with an Atlantic Division showdown between the Sabres and Canadiens. A cross-conference clash follows out west as the Rangers take on the Kings in Los Angeles. Here’s a breakdown of each game and how I’ll be wagering these two matchups.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Sabres have dropped their last eight games and haven’t even recorded a point over the losing streak. The skid has moved them to 7-11-0 (14 points), where they’re seventh in the Atlantic and sit right behind Montreal in the division. The Canadiens come into tonight’s game from a win, and they’re now 9-8-1 (19 points) on the season. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. ET tonight from the Bell Centre in Quebec.
Absolutely nothing is going right for the Sabres right now, and I’m going to fade them while they’re down and back the Canadiens on the moneyline tonight. Over this eight-game losing streak, Buffalo has been outscored 38-19, and they’ve lost by at least two goals in seven out of the eight games. The Sabres now rank 27th in goals allowed per game (3.39 opposing gpg), and they’ve been horrendous on the penalty kill, stopping just 70.18% of their opponent’s man-advantage opportunities (30th).
On the flip side, the Canadiens have been competitive through the first 18 games this year, and they’ve won four out of their last six contests. Montreal has some intriguing young talent on their team in Nick Suzuki (11G, 12A), Cole Caufield (11G, 8A), and Kirby Dach (4G, 12A). The difference between these two developing teams is that Montreal plays with much more structure and discipline. The Sabres are more of a “run and gun” style of a team compared to the Martin St. Louis side, which seems to at least have the fundamentals down (i.e., having the eighth-best PK unit at 81.36%). Let’s ride with Montreal at home tonight. I’m confident they’ll be able to outpace Buffalo and collect the two points.
Bet: Montreal Canadiens Moneyline (-115 via DraftKings)
New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Rangers are 1-0-1 over the first two games of their four-game road trip, and they collected a win over the Sharks on Saturday after losing in overtime to the Kraken on Thursday. They’ll look to grab another pair of points tonight as they take on the Kings in Los Angeles. Most recently, the Kings have dropped their last two games to Vancouver and Seattle. This one’s set for 10:30 p.m. ET from Crypto.com Arena.
New York’s off to just a 9-6-4 (22 points) start this year, which I’d say is a tad underwhelming considering how much success they had last season. However, one aspect of their game has transitioned into the new campaign flawlessly: the goaltending efforts of Igor Shesterkin. The reigning Vezina winner is 9-2-3 with a 2.34 GAA and .917 SV%. His stability in net is why I’ll back the Rangers tonight on the moneyline. New York is eighth in the league in goals allowed per game at just 2.58, and they’re also fourth on the PK at 83.05%. They’ll be tasked with slowing down a mediocre offense in Los Angeles that’s averaging just 3.1 goals per game (18th) and cashing in on 18.75% of power plays (24th).
Offensively, New York will likely be running into Jonathan Quick tonight, and he’s off to a pedestrian start this year. The veteran goaltender is just 6-6-1 with a 3.15 GAA and .892 SV%, and he’s lost his last two starts. The Rangers will have a big advantage on the power play tonight as they come in with the ninth-ranked unit (23.53%) compared to the Kings’ 27th-ranked PK (74.32%). Ultimately, New York has the edge in their zone defensively, and they have a sizable advantage on special teams tonight. Let’s ride with the Rangers to pick up their second straight win.
Bet: New York Rangers Moneyline (-115 via DraftKings)