Buffalo Sabres (20-10-5) at Washington Capitals (20-10-3)
|Date & Time||Friday December 21, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -205 / Buffalo Sabres +170 --- Over/Under: 6.5
The Buffalo Sabres and the Washington Capitals meet in NHL action from the Capital One Arena on Friday night.
The Buffalo Sabres will be looking for a bounce back performance after a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers in their last outing. Jeff Skinner got the Sabres on the board first and Buffalo carried that 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission. Florida tied the game, but that tie lasted all of 1:51 before Rasmus Ristolainen gave the Sabres the lead once again for a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. The wheels fell off in the 3rd however, as Florida struck 3 times within the first 4:42 of the period and iced the game with an empty net goal with 2:30 to play to seal the deal and send Buffalo back empty handed. Carter Hutton took the loss, falling to 13-9-2 this season after allowing 4 goals on 35 shots in the losing effort.
The Washington Capitals will also be looking to rebound after having their winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh in their last outing. The game was a scoreless tie after the opening period before Lars Eller got the Caps on the board at the 6:38 mark of the 2nd period. That was all the scoring Washington would do however, as the lead evaporated just 2:37 later before the Pens took the lead before the end of the 2nd frame. Washington pressed in the 3rd, putting 14 shots on goal in the final period, but couldn’t tie the game and were left with no points to show for their efforts when the game was over. Braden Holtby took the loss, falling to 13-8-2 this season after allowing both goals on 30 shots in the losing effort.
Buffalo is 3-7 in their last 10 games overall and 69-146 in their last 215 road games while the over is 5-0 in their last 5 games against the Eastern Conference. Washington is 5-1 in their last 6 games overall and 106-48 in their last 154 home games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record. Buffalo is 1-6 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams and 3-13 in the last 16 meetings between these two teams in Washington.
The Sabres haven’t had much luck against the Capitals lately, and have had even less success in Washington, but in all fairness, a lot of those games came when the Sabres were god awful and an embarrassment on the ice. With that said, the Sabres are still struggling mightily right now, while Washington will no doubt be angry about having their winning streak snapped at the hands of the rival Penguins. I just think that for this game, the Sabres are back to being unbackable at the moment and the Capitals should be able to get the job done here and to negate the heavy juice, I’ll side with Washington on the puck line here.