The Pepsi Center will be the site for an enticing showdown as the Buffalo Sabres pay a visit to the Mile-High City to meet the Colorado Avalanche. It’s the final time that the two clubs will meet in the regular season. This East-West matchup gets going at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 26, and it can be viewed live on Sportsnet.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Colorado Avalanche Odds
Colorado heads into the contest as the substantial favorite with a moneyline of -215. The line for Buffalo is standing at +180 and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. If you want to play this matchup’s total, you’ll be looking at odds of -115 money on the over and -105 for the under.
Netting 3.4 units for moneyline bettors, the Avalanche are 36-25 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 38-44 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Through 61 regular season matches, 30 of the team’s games have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just two have pushed. This year, the team’s 16-14 SU at home.
Colorado’s converted on 18.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.1 percent of all penalties.
Colorado, as a collective unit, has been penalized 3.6 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its past five outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 6.9 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.
Averaging 27.1 saves per game with a .916 save percentage, Philipp Grubauer (19 wins, 17 losses, and four OT losses) has been the principal option in goal for the Avalanche this season. If they, however, choose to give him a rest, Colorado may roll with Pavel Francouz (17-9-9 record, .927 save percentage, 2.27 goals against average).
Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar will both lead the offensive attack for the Avalanche. MacKinnon (84 points) has put up 33 goals and 51 assists and has recorded multiple points in 26 different games this year. Makar has 12 goals and 33 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 33 contests.
On the visiting bench, Buffalo is 29-33 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. 30 of its outings have gone over the total, while another 30 have gone under the total and just two have pushed. As a road team, Buffalo is 10-19 SU.
Buffalo has converted on 20.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 30th overall and it’s successfully defended 74.9 percent of all opponent power plays.
Buffalo’s players have been penalized only 3.1 times per game in total this season, and 1.8 per game over their past ten contests. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 4.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Linus Ullmark (2.72 goals against average and .914 save percentage) has been the main option in goal for Buffalo. Ullmark is averaging 28.5 saves per game and owns a 16-17-3 record.
Jack Eichel (35 goals, 42 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions
Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Under
Four of Colorado’s last five games gone under the total.
Buffalo has managed 26.8 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Colorado is averaging 31.8 shots per game over its last five home outings.
Power-play chances may have a critical role in tonight’s game. The Sabres are 10-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 26-22 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Avalanche are 20-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 27-12 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Buffalo is 1-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Colorado is 1-1 in shootouts.
Colorado is ranked 10th in the NHL this season with 8.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as the team has managed 6.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.2 takeaways over its last five.
Buffalo is ranked 30th in the league with 5.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team has averaged 4.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.4 takeaways over its last five.