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New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres - 1/3/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Buffalo Sabres (14-21-3) at New York Rangers (20-11-4)

NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: New York Rangers -321 / Buffalo Sabres +281 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds

TV:

The New York Rangers return home to take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. New York has won nine of their last 10 games heading into the contest and are coming off a strong performance on New Year's Eve against the Florida Panthers down in Sunrise. New York controlled the first period of play and were finally rewarded when Chris Kreider secured a rebound off a Derek Stepan shot and snuck it by Panthers goalie Al Montoya. Just 1:29 into the second period Derick Brassard was the beneficiary of a wide open net after captain Ryan McDonagh fired a shot off Montoya's pads that ended up right on Brassard's stick in the slot. Things would get better for New York later in the period when McDonagh scored his third goal of the season on the power play to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It looked like this would be an easy one for New York but things changed quickly. Florida got a late second period goal on a breakway from Tomas Fleischmann and converted again on the power play in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2. But New York would settle things down and Martin St. Louis scored his 12th of the season to alleviate some of the pressure. Dominic Moore would add his second of the year late in the third to finish the scoring in the 5-2 win. New York has been playing some really solid hockey of late and when they have all four lines contributing at both ends of the ice they are a very difficult club to beat. This is a hockey team that has great goaltending and great depth. With Rick Nash playing at an elite level and having another scorer like Martin St. Louis, it's undestandable why the Rangers are a good team. What makes them better than people give them credit for is how good their role players are. Last season it was a huge key in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals and though some of the faces have changed in the off season, general manager Glen Sather has done a great job replacing players. New York will get the Sabres coming to town on the second night of a back-to-back and these are valuable points they can't let go at this time of year. The New York Rangers return home to take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. New York has won nine of their last 10 games heading into the contest and are coming off a strong performance on New Year's Eve against the Florida Panthers down in Sunrise. New York controlled the first period of play and were finally rewarded when Chris Kreider secured a rebound off a Derek Stepan shot and snuck it by Panthers goalie Al Montoya. Just 1:29 into the second period Derick Brassard was the beneficiary of a wide open net after captain Ryan McDonagh fired a shot off Montoya's pads that ended up right on Brassard's stick in the slot. Things would get better for New York later in the period when McDonagh scored his third goal of the season on the power play to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. It looked like this would be an easy one for New York but things changed quickly. Florida got a late second period goal on a breakway from Tomas Fleischmann and converted again on the power play in the third period to cut the lead to 3-2. But New York would settle things down and Martin St. Louis scored his 12th of the season to alleviate some of the pressure. Dominic Moore would add his second of the year late in the third to finish the scoring in the 5-2 win. New York has been playing some really solid hockey of late and when they have all four lines contributing at both ends of the ice they are a very difficult club to beat. This is a hockey team that has great goaltending and great depth. With Rick Nash playing at an elite level and having another scorer like Martin St. Louis, it's undestandable why the Rangers are a good team. What makes them better than people give them credit for is how good their role players are. Last season it was a huge key in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals and though some of the faces have changed in the off season, general manager Glen Sather has done a great job replacing players. New York will get the Sabres coming to town on the second night of a back-to-back and these are valuable points they can't let go at this time of year. 

 

New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres - 1/3/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres had gotten away from their losing ways after a miserable start, but recently things have turned south again. Entering Friday night’s contest with the Florida Panthers the Sabres had lost six of their last seven games. Things didn’t start out well for the Sabres, getting out shot 19-7 in the opening period and surrendering two goals to the visitors. Buffalo has scored more goals of late but their scoring struggles still persist and we saw it again on Friday night. Buffalo is dead last in the National Hockey League, averaging just 1.84 goals per game on the season. The Sabres are also allowing the second most goals in the league at 3.34. Add in their bottom five penalty kill and a power play that’s dead last in the league and this is just not a good hockey club. Head coach Ted Nolan was able to a nice stretch out of this underwhelming club but there just isn’t enough talent on the roster for them to consistently win hockey games. Trailing by two goals heading into the third period on Friday the Sabres were barely able to muster a fight before being brought down by the Panthers. Now they’ve got to travel to Manhattan to take on a Rangers club that’s playing hockey as well as anyone right now. It’s going to take a great effort from this club to come away with two points on Saturday night.

 

Obviously the Rangers are heavy, heavy favorites in this one but they should be able to come away with a multi-goal victory. Henrik Lundqvist has started a lot of games recently so it wouldn’t be surprising if Cam Talbot got the start for New York as well. Either way the Rangers should be able to put a few goals in and win this one comfortably. 

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New York -1.5 and Over 5

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