Pittsburgh Penguins (39-15-2) at Buffalo Sabres (15-32-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday February 5, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Buffalo Sabres +181 / Pittsburgh Penguins -200 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Pittsburgh Penguins look to continue their ascent in the Eastern Conference standings with a trip to Buffalo on Wednesday night in a battle of two teams at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off an overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night in a game that was highlighted by the goaltenders as Marc-Andre Fleury and Craig Anderson were excellent in their respective creases. Fleury pulled off a save of the year candidate on Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson in what was a spectacular glove hand coming across the net that kept the Pens in front – a lead they would squander but reclaim in overtime. There is no question that the Pens are the class of the Eastern Conference at least for the time being as they hold a five p[oint edge on the Bruins for the top spot but if there is any part of the Pittsburgh game that has been somewhat subpar it is their production away from home. The Pens have accumulated 11 of their 15 losses this season away from the Consol Energy Center and while the Sabres aren’t necessarily a threat to capitalize on that trend it’s certainly a greater possibility than if this game was being played in Pittsburgh. Marc Andre Fleury is expected to get the start once again as he goes up against Ryan Miller.
Going from the top team in the Conference to the worst in the entire league the Sabres are without question a huge underdog on home ice and it won’t be the first time this season. The Sabres as mentioned on a number of occasions this year are going through a massive overhaul with a number of players finding different homes and the changing of the guard will likely continue into the trade deadline in early March. The Sabres do have a lot to look forward to in the coming years but for right now they’re a team that everyone has circled on their calendar for the opportunity to grab two points and leave that isn’t any different for the Penguins in this spot. The Pens outlasted the Senators in their last game but that was a rivalry contest and one we expected to see. This one however is a simple case of the two teams being in completely different worlds and I expect the Pens to make quick work here and get out of dodge in a hurry.