Buffalo Sabres (1-3) at Washington Capitals (2-0-2)
NHL Hockey: Friday, January 22, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Capital One Arena)
The Line: Washington Capitals +105 / Buffalo Sabres -125 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The Buffalo Sabres and the Washington Capitals meet in NHL action from Capital One Arena on Friday night.
The Buffalo Sabres will be out to bounce back from a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia last night, falling to 1-3 on the year in the process. Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel each have a team-high 6 points this season with Hall logging a goal and 5 assists while Eichel has a team-high 6 assists. Sam Reinhart has 3 points with 2 goals and an assist as well as 12 shots on goal while Victor Olofsson has 2 goals and an assist as well. Carter Hutton has seen the bulk of the workload for Buffalo with a 1-2 record with 7 goals against on 69 shots against, but will miss this game with an upper body injury, likely leaving the work for Linus Ullmark who has an 0-1 mark with 2 goals allowed on 21 shots this season.
The Washington Capitals will look to bounce back after a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh last time out, dropping to 2-0-2 on the year. Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each have a team-high 5 points with Ovechkin logging a team-high 4 assists and 13 shots on goal while Wilson has a team-high 3 goals. Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie each have 4 points with Backstrom logging a pair of goals and Oshie logging 3 assists. Jakub Vrana, John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each have 3 points as well this season. Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov have each logged two start this season, with Vanecek posting a 1-1 mark with 6 goals allowed on 61 shots against for a 2.97 GAA while Samsonov has a 1-0-1 mark with 7 goals allowed on 53 shots for a 3.36 GAA. The problem for the Capitals for this game is that Samsonov, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov will all miss this game due to COVID protocols.
Buffalo is 2-9 in their last 11 games overall and 2-11 in their last 13 games as a road favorite while the under is 5-2-1 in their last 8 games overall. Washington is 4-9 in their last 13 games overall and 1-4 in their last 5 home games while the under is 19-7-2 in their last 28 games as a home underdog. Buffalo is 4-14 in the last 18 meetings between these two teams and 5-16 in the last 21 meetings between these two teams in Washington.
I’m going to side with the under here. Ullmark’s been arguably the better goaltender for the Sabres this season and I could make the same case for Vanecek for Washington but the Sabres have been inconsistent offensively and Washington’s lost a ton of punch from their lineup with the three skaters out due to COVID protocols. I think this is just going to be a game where both sides have a ton of issues to overcome and both won’t want to be the first to blink, leading us to a cautious and low-scoring affair. Give me the under.