Montreal Canadiens (0-1) vs. Buffalo Sabres (0-0)
October 14, 2021 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Buffalo Sabres +105 / Montreal Canadiens -125; Over/Under: 5.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres meet in NHL action from the KeyBank Arena on Thursday night.
The Montreal Canadiens will be out to bounce back after a 2-1 loss to the rival Toronto Maple Leafs in their season opener last time out. Jonathan Drouin welcomed himself back into the fold for the Habs with a goal just 7:22 into the game, but Montreal’s lead lasted all of 2:50 before Toronto tied the game at one. The 1-1 tie held through the rest of the first and all of the second before Toronto broke the deadlock just after the first minute of the 3rd period and despite Montreal outshooting Toronto 12-7 in the 3rd, the Leafs held on for the win. Jake Allen took the loss for Montreal after allowing two goals on 30 shots faced in defeat.
The Buffalo Sabres will try to rebound in the 2021-22 season after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign, missing the playoffs for the 10th straight year with a 15-34-7 mark, highlighted, or lowlighted, with an 18-game losing streak that lasted well over a month. Sam Reinhart led the Sabres in scoring but is now a Florida Panther, leading the lead man duties to Victor Olofsson, who had 32 points with 13 goals and 19 assists last year. Jack Eichel remains the team captain but only time will tell if he is still a Sabre at the end of the year as he’s undergone a nasty contract dispute with the team. The good news is that Buffalo selected Owen Power 1st overall and don’t be surprised if you see Power in a Sabre uniform sooner rather than later. But also don’t be surprised if Buffalo is in contention for this year’s expected first overall selection, Shane Wright.
Montreal is 3-8 in their last 11 games played on no rest and 1-4 in their last 5 games overall while the under is 8-1 in their last 9 division games. Buffalo is 32-92 in their last 124 Thursday games and 16-47 in their last 63 games overall while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
This is an interesting spot as the Sabres are not a team I’m all that high on coming into the season, but I’m also not fond of the Canadiens coming in on a back-to-back with a step down in goal likely here. That’s why I’m going to lean the way of the Sabres in this one. As much as I’m expecting Buffalo to fall apart over the course of the season, the Sabres usually start the year well and getting Montreal on the second leg of a back-to-back could be a key to starting the year on a high note. Give me Buffalo and the plus money here.