NHL Hockey Betting: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres

NHL Hockey Betting:  Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres

Good matchup in Upstate New York as the Buffalo Sabres host the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sabres have shown improved play since Jack Eichel returned from injury and have taken points in 8 of their last 10 games (5-2-3). They’ve lost their last two games, however, and need to get back on the winning track. It’s not like the losses were embarassing (1 goal losses at Carolina and Florida). The Sabres are tied for sixth place in the Atlantic Division and with Montreal and Ottawa pulling away from the rest of the division they’ve got to make up ground quickly if they want to earn a playoff berth. Buffalo is 12-11-8 overall with 32 points with a 7-6-3 record at home. They’ve got 8 OT losses which is the most in the NHL. That’s an area where Eichel’s return should help immensely.

Carolina is something of an enigma this year. They’ve got a home record that puts them in company with the top teams in the NHL at 9-3-1 but have struggled on the road with a 4-8-6 record. Like Buffalo, losing in OT has been a problem for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are a scrappy, hard working team but don’t have a lot of ‘big play’ playmakers and that’s an issue after regulation with the 3 on 3 format and the shootout.

Cam Ward gets the start for the Hurricanes and he’s been huge this year. Ward is always talked about as a trade candidate–most recently, with the addition of former Vancouver backup Eddie Lack. Lack is out indefinitely and Ward has been solid as a full time starter. He’s 10-8-6 this year with a 2.30 goals against average and a 0.915 save percentage. Ward has his issues but his ability to handle workload has never been an issue and that’s been a life saver for Carolina. Buffalo will go with Robin Lehner who is 7-9-5 with a 2.47 goals against average and a 0.921 save percentage.

Buffalo has been at their worst against teams with losing records. Carolina has been at their worst on the road. Sabres have won the last three head to head at home and given the ‘Canes road struggles we’ll back the home team.