A day later, we will finally get a faceoff between the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks. Lake-effect snow postponed yesterday’s contest to tonight, as stormy weather has been a major issue in Buffalo lately.
The Sabres (19-21-4) come into the contest off a win on Monday and trending up. The Blackhawks (13-29-2) are also coming off a win, which is only their second in the last 10 games. Oddly enough, each team’s last victory was against the last place San Jose Sharks.
How to Watch
Gametime: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: KeyBank Center (Buffalo, NY)
TV: MSG (Buffalo); NBCSCH (Chicago)
Stream: MSG+; ESPN+ (Out-of-market)
Key injuries have again put a wrinkle in the Sabres lineup tonight versus the Blackhawks. Dylan Cozens is the latest player to fall victim, as he will miss tonight’s game with an upper-body injury. He is officially day-to-day along with Mattias Samuelsson and Jeff Skinner, who also are recovering from upper-body ailments.
Head coach Don Granato is doing some line shuffling in hopes of a more balanced attack. Zach Benson looks to remain on the team’s top line with Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch. It’s a spot that he assumed partway through Monday’s game as he swapped lines with Casey Mittelstadt.
Speaking of Mittelstadt, he’ll have a playmaker and a workhorse on his line tonight, with Jack Quinn and Zemgus Girgensons, respectively. Victor Olofsson looks to be back in the lineup for the first time since January 4th, slotting in with Jordan Greenway and Kyle Okposo.
That leaves JJ Peterka in a new role on the wing with Peyton Krebs and Eric Robinson. Krebs and Robinson were really good offensively against San Jose despite not scoring, so perhaps Peterka can bring a little more speed and finish to the line.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been a stonewall in net as of late, and he’ll get a chance to build on his strong run for the Sabres tonight against the Blackhawks.
If you were hoping to witness rookie sensation Connor Bedard in action, you’ll be disappointed to learn he will not play tonight. Bedard fractured his jaw and will likely be out at least another month. It’s just another devastating injury to a team who’s lineup looks nothing like it did on opening night.
While veterans like Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall were brought in to support a young group of talent, it’s been Jason Dickinson who has been the steady presence in Chicago. Dickinson has 21 points in 44 games for the Blackhawks, and is somehow on the plus-side of goal-differential when on the ice despite his team being a -60 in that category.
His strong play has earned him a 2-year 8.5 million-dollar extension with the club.
- Dylan Cozens (Upper Body) Day-to-Day
- Mattias Samuelsson (Upper Body) Day-to-Day
- Jeff Skinner (Upper Body) Day-to-Day [IR]
- Connor Murphy (Lower Body) Out
- Nikita Zaitsev (Knee) Out [IR]
- Anthony Beauvillier (Wrist) Out [IR]
- Andreas Athanasiou (Groin) Out [IR]
- Nick Foligno (Finger) Out [IR]
- Tyler Johnson (Foot) Out [IR]
- Connor Bedard (Jaw) Out [IR]
- Taylor Hall (Knee) Out [IR]
Zach Benson – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch
Zemgus Girgensons – Casey Mittelstadt – Jack Quinn
Victor Olofsson – Jordan Greenway – Kyle Okposo
Eric Robinson – Peyton Krebs – JJ Peterka
Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju
Owen Power – Erik Johnson
Ryan Johnson – Connor Clifton
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Confirmed)
Lineup Source: Lance Lysowski, The Buffalo News
Goalie Source: Lance Lysowski, The Buffalo News
Rem Pitlick – Philipp Kurashev – Taylor Raddysh
Lukas Reichel – Mackenzie Entwistle – Cole Guttman
Colin Blackwell – Jason Dickinson – Joey Anderson
Boris Katchouk – Zach Sanford – Ryan Donato
Alex Vlasic – Seth Jones
Isaak Phillips – Jarred Tinordi
Kevin Korchinski – Louis Crevier
Arvid Soderblom (Projected)
Lineup Source: PuckLuck Projected
Goalie Source: PuckLuck Projected
Betting Odds Breakdown
We’ve been absolutely crushing it on Sabres games lately at PuckLuck, with the assessment of the team uncertain in the general public as of late. Since all projections boil down the the player level, we’re able to have a good idea of how the line shuffling should affect the game as a whole.
Buffalo’s undoubtedly favored strongly at home tonight, but the sportsbooks place them at about -285 on the moneyline. That implies a 74% chance of winning, and PuckLuck just isn’t quite that confident.
What that means is there’s a big edge on betting the Blackhawks, whether it be on the moneyline or with the spread (puckline).
There’s only a 37% chance a moneyline bet on Chicago will hit, but you’ll take home 2.3 times your wager as profit if they do.
The game total also is listed a tad too high, with not much scoring talent left on the Blackhawks roster and Luukkonen going strong. Under six goals is the value play.
For more betting analysis across the NHL, be sure to head over to PuckLuck.com.
*PuckLuck.com provides data related to gambling and cannot guarantee the success of any suggested or related wagers. Please gamble responsibly.*