Anaheim Ducks (28-17-10) at Buffalo Sabres (22-21-10)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 9, 2017, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Buffalo Sabres +104 / Anaheim Ducks -115 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Buffalo Sabres look to stay red hot on home ice as they welcome the Anaheim Ducks to town on Thursday night.
The Ducks continue their road trip in Buffalo on Thursday night and will look to play their way out of a mini funk as they have dropped four of their last five games and are seeing their grip on an automatic berth in the Pacific slip away. Anaheim has found a ton of success when playing on a Thursday as they have won 20 of their last 28 but they will have their work cut out for them here against a Sabres group that is playing very well at home of late and has stolen four of their last five against the Western Conference. The Ducks have had their issues on the road and will turn to John Gibson once again in the crease as he will match up against Robin Lehner in a goaltending battle that should be very interesting to watch.
The Sabres were projected by many to be a dark horse team in the Eastern Conference this season and while they didn’t get off to a strong start they have really turned it up of late and if they can keep this run going they could very well sneak into the Atlantic division playoffs. Buffalo has won six of their last seven games at home but they have been woeful on Thursday night as they are 12-48 in their last 60 Thursday games and while it may seem like an arbitrary trend it is tipped in the other direction for the Ducks and it may come into play here. Jack Eichel and company will need a big effort up top as the Ducks have a pretty solid blue line and a physical forward group but if the Sabres can use their team speed they should be in a good place.
The Ducks are 9-3 in their last 12 playing on one day’s rest and 7-1 in their last eight following a loss of three goals or more while the Sabres are 4-0 in their last four against the Pacific and 8-3 in their last 11 when playing in a 3-4 set. Anaheim to me is the better team and while I like biting on Buffalo at home I just don’t like the spot here for them as the Ducks are too good to be staying in this rut.