The Eastern Conference duel at KeyBank Center in Buffalo will open a five-game slate in the NHL on Friday, March 25, and here you can read the best Capitals vs. Sabres betting pick and odds.
These Eastern Conference rivals have met on two occasions this season, and Washington won both games, so the hosts are looking to avoid the season sweep here.
According to PointsBet NY Sportsbook, the Capitals are -200 moneyline favorites, while the total is set at 6 goals.
Washington lost two in a row at home
The Washington Capitals were in a fine form of seven wins in eight games, but after returning home from a two-game road trip, they suffered a couple of defeats to Dallas and St. Louis. The Caps will travel to Buffalo and then will stay at home for the next four games. This will be Washington’s first of a back-to-back set; the Capitals are facing New Jersey on Saturday.
Washington had a 2-1 lead in the opening period against the St. Louis Blues in the most recent game, but that was all from Peter Laviolette’s team. The visitors scored four goals since, without an answer from the Caps, and deservedly recorded a 5-2 victory.
Ilya Samsonov will start at the goal against the Sabres on Friday. The 25year-old goaltender has an 18-9-4-0 record this season with a 2.95 GAA and a .900 save percentage with three shutouts. The Capitals are allowing 2.82 goals per game (11th in the NHL) and are scoring 3.26 on the other end (10th) on a 10.4 shooting percentage (9th).
Buffalo is playing its best hockey of the season
The Buffalo Sabres are experiencing their best hockey of the campaign as they won five of the previous six games and are on a three-game winning run. Although all three of those wins came in overtime or shootout, a couple of victories over Calgary and Vancouver on the road and against Pittsburgh at home are certainly impressive.
The Sabres always had a lead against the Penguins in the most recent 4-3 SO win. They entered the final five minutes of regulation with a 3-2 lead, but Kris Letang scored a power-play goal to force overtime. Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch scored in the shootout for Buffalo, while Craig Anderson stopped both Bryan Rust and Sidney Crosby from scoring to earn two points for the hosts.
For the third consecutive game, Craig Anderson will get his place between the sticks; now, he will face the Capitals on Friday. The 40-year old goaltender has a 12-9-0 record this season with a 3.04 GAA and a .904 save percentage without shutouts. The Sabres allow 3.47 goals per game (26th in the NHL) and score 2.63 a night (26th) on an 8.8 shooting percentage (26th).
- 7-3 in the last ten games overall
- 5-1 in the last six games against Buffalo
- 5-0 in the last five games when playing on the road against Buffalo
- 6-14 in the last 20 games at home
- 9-24 in the last 33 vs. Eastern Conference rivals
Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick
Washington is the second-best road team in the NHL this season, but we must be cautious with this game because the Sabres managed to beat the best away team in the league a couple of nights ago – the Pittsburgh Penguins. Still, I don’t think the Sabres will be that lucky on Friday, but I do expect them to show another strong display and put up a fight.
That said, I wouldn’t back the Capitals to cover a -1.5 spread in this one. In fact, I think the Sabres will cover a +1.5 spread at decent -130 odds, so you can bet on this option as well. I am going with a safer bet, though, and Washington to win.
Pick: Take the Washington Capitals at -200
Buffalo’s defense was more than respectable lately, but the Sabres are facing the third highest-scoring team in the East, and it’s hard to expect Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov to choke at KeyBank Center. Washington allowed 3+ goals in seven of its last eight games, so the hosts will surely have a chance here.
The total has gone Over in five of Buffalo’s last five games against an opponent in the Metropolitan Division. The total went Over in eight of Washington’s previous nine games, while the total has gone Over in each of the Capitals’ last five games on the road.
Pick: Go Over 6 goals at -110