TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (3-3-2, 8 points)
at BUFFALO SABRES (5-2-0, 10 points)
Puck drops: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Buffalo -150, Tampa Bay +130, Total: 5.5
The Tampa Bay Lightning look to grab the second win of their home-and-home series with the Buffalo Sabres, after winning the first contest 3-0 on Saturday night.
The Lightning lost five of their first six games to start the year, but backup goaltender Mathieu Garon (1.51 GAA, .948 SV Pct., 1 SO) has gotten Tampa back on the right track—picking up wins in their past two. Garon—who has spent time with six different NHL clubs—has traditionally played terribly against Buffalo (2-7, 3.14 GAA, .889 SV Pct.), with Saturday’s shutout being the exception. Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller has posted incredible win totals against the Lightning historically, with a 17-5 record all-time. Since 1996, the Sabres are 20-7-1 when hosting Tampa Bay. After going 3-1 on its four-game road trip, look for BUFFALO to pick up the win in just its third home game of the season.
This FoxSheets also supports the Sabres:
BUFFALO is 15-5 ATS (75.0%, +8.9 Units) off a road loss over the last 2 seasons.The average score was BUFFALO 3.4, OPPONENT 2.3 - (Rating = 1*).
The Lightning have been wildly inconsistent so far this season, allowing 4+ goals in four of their first eight games, while also scoring 4+ goals in four games. Their 42-year-old goaltender Dwayne Roloson’s abysmal start (1-2-1, 5.11 GAA, .858 SV Pct.) haunted Tampa out of the gate.
Puck-moving defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron leads all Lightning players with nine points (2 G, 7 A). RW Martin St. Louis (7 points), and centers Vinny Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos (6 points each) have also contributed to a Tampa offense that ranks fifth in the NHL in goals per game (3.1).
The Sabres—a StatFox sleeper pick to win the Stanley Cup—have used stingy defense and goaltending to jump out to a terrific start, yielding just 1.9 goals per game (3rd in NHL). Ryan Miller is playing, well, like Ryan Miller—posting incredible numbers so far (4-2-0, 1.68 GAA, .946 SV Pct.).
LW Thomas Vanek leads the Sabres with 10 points (6 G, 4 A) along with linemates RW Jason Pominville (2 G, 7 A) and rookie C Luke Adam (3 G, 3 A).