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Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers - 1/1/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

New York Rangers (20-13-5) at Buffalo Sabres (10-20-8)

NHL Hockey: Monday, January 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm (Citi Field)

The Line: Buffalo Sabres +166 / New York Rangers -185 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabers meet New Years Day in the NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field.

The New York Rangers look for a spark of consistency after splitting their last 12 games. The New York Rangers are averaging 3.1 goals per game and are scoring on 18.7 percent of their power play opportunities. Michael Grabner leads New York with 17 goals, Mats Zuccarello has 21 assists and Mika Zibanejad has 77 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Rangers are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 84.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Henrik Lundqvist has given up 79 goals on 1,012 shots faced and Ondrej Pavelec has allowed 20 goals on 263 shots. The New York Rangers have allowed three or less goals in 10 of their last 12 games.

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Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers - 1/1/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabers have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since October 21-24. The Buffalo Sabers are averaging 2.2 goals per game and are scoring on 12.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Evander Kane leads Buffalo with 15 goals, Jack Eichel has 20 assists and Ryan O'Reilly has 91 shots on goal. Defensively, the Buffalo Sabers are allowing 3.3 goals per game and are killing 81.9 percent of their opponents power plays. Robin Lehner has given up 73 goals on 861 shots faced and Chad Johnson has allowed 43 goals on 362 shots. The Buffalo Sabers have allowed three or more goals in seven of their last 10 games.

The Rangers are 1-4 in their last 5 road games, 20-6 in their last 26 Monday games and 6-1 in their last 7 games playing on 2 days rest. The Sabres are 3-8 in their last 11 home games, 2-6 in their last 8 games playing on 2 days rest and 23-51 in their last 74 vs. Eastern Conference. The Rangers are 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Buffalo, 10-3 in the last 13 meetings and the road team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.

It's always tough to predict outside hockey games, as the elements are different, it's hard to pick up the puck and we usually see weird things happen. There is a chance we see a lot of scoring in this contest. But when said and done, it's hard to make a case for the Sabres, a club that hasn't won back-to-back games in over two months and has been on the losing side in seven of the last 10 meetings against the Rangers. While the price isn't great, the New York Rangers are the better team and should find a way to get the job done....

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