The California road trip begins tonight as the Buffalo Sabres are in Anaheim to faceoff against the Ducks. The Sabres (20-22-4) will look to rebound from a tough loss as they line up against the league’s 29th-best team in the Ducks (15-30-1).
The game will have a bit of a family reunion feel to it as Tage Thompson and Ryan Johnson’s fathers, Brent and Craig, are both assistants on Anaheim’s coaching staff. Brent Thompson is a former NHL defenseman with parts of six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, and Arizona Coyotes. Craig Johnson played 13 seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Washington Capitals.
How to Watch
Gametime: 10:00 p.m. ET
Location: Honda Center (Anaheim, CA)
Stream: ESPN+; HULU
The Sabres are 5-3-0 in 2024, but Saturday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning was a back-breaker. With the Lightning ahead of them in the standings, Buffalo could’ve closed the gap between them and a playoff spot. Instead that gap is now even wider, putting the Sabres nine points back with 36 games remaining.
The good news is that they’re getting healthier. Dylan Cozens and Mattias Samuelsson returned last game, and Jeff Skinner practiced in full yesterday and seems ready to go. Skinner’s return is important, because it allows Casey Mittelstadt to be the pivot on his own line with some quality scoring talent around him. The last few games, Jordan Greenway was forced to play center due to the lack of offensive support at the top of the lineup.
What started out as a promising season has fallen apart for the Ducks. They’re in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and are 2-7-1 in their last 10.
They’ll be without talented young forward Trevor Zegras tonight, who Sabres fans will remember for his lacrosse-style pass that resulted in a goal against Buffalo a couple years ago. Still, the Ducks lineup is flooded with young talent. Tonight we’ll see top draft picks Leo Carlsson and Mason McTavish play pivotal roles up front for the team. It is also expected to be heralded prospect Olen Zellweger’s NHL debut on the blueline.
- Jeff Skinner (Upper Body) Day-to-Day
- Erik Johnson (Upper Body) Day-to-Day
- Max Jones (Upper Body) Out [IR]
- Ilya Lyubushkin (Upper Body) Day-to-Day
- Alex Killorn (Knee) Out [IR]
- Trevor Zegras (Ankle) Out [IR]
- Pavel Mintyukov (Shoulder) Out [IR]
Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch
Zach Benson – Casey Mittelstadt – JJ Peterka
Jordan Greenway – Dylan Cozens – Jack Quinn
Zemgus Girgensons – Peyton Krebs – Kyle Okposo
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Owen Power – Ryan Johnson
Henri Jokiharju – Connor Clifton
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Confirmed)
Lineup Source: PuckLuck Projected
Goalie Source: Mike Harrington, The Buffalo News
Adam Henrique – Leo Carlsson – Troy Terry
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Strome – Brett Leason
Isac Lundestrom – Mason McTavish – Jakob Silfverberg
Ross Johnston – Sam Carrick – Bo Groulx
Jackson LaCombe – Cam Fowler
Urho Vaakanainen – Radko Gudas
Olen Zellweger – Ilya Lyubushkin
John Gibson (Confirmed)
Lineup Source: Derek Lee, The Sporting Tribune
Goalie Source: Derek Lee, The Sporting Tribune
Betting Odds Breakdown
If you’re looking for a betting edge on the Sabres game tonight, look at the game total. Even with it set at six goals, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been hot, John Gibson’s been solid, and both teams are struggling to score. PuckLuck has the game projected at 5.41 goals, which is a pretty safe projection for the under.
The Sabres are heavy road favorites, which is something we haven’t been able to say often. The sportsbooks are all over it though, implying a very similar win probability as PuckLuck does. This leaves really no reason to bet the moneyline or puckline, since the potential payout is not worth the risk.
If you’re looking for more fun plays, PuckLuck’s player prop projections can help you find the best props to bet on your preferred sportsbook.
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.*