Facing each other for the final time this season, the Los Angeles Kings and the Buffalo Sabres clash at the KeyBank Center. Fox Sports West will air this cross-country matchup, which gets underway at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 21.
Los Angeles Kings vs. Buffalo Sabres Odds
Losing 0.8 units for moneyline gamblers, the Sabres are 16-20 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That early-season winning percentage is fairly close to what the team managed during last year’s regular season (33-49). Of its 36 games this season, 19 have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 10-6 SU at home this season.
Buffalo’s converted on 19.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 29th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 74.1 percent of all penalties.
Buffalo, as a collective unit, has been penalized 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over its last ten outings. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 5.6 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, overall.
Averaging 30.4 saves per game with a .913 save percentage, Linus Ullmark (10-10-3) has been the top option in goal for the Sabres this season. If head coach Ralph Krueger chooses to give him the day off, however, the team may turn to Carter Hutton (6-10-10 record, .894 save percentage, 3.23 goals against average).
The Sabres will continue to rely on offensive production via Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson. Eichel (50 points) has tallied 24 goals and 26 assists and has recorded two or more points in 14 different games this year. Olofsson has 15 goals and 18 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 25 contests.
Los Angeles has lost 2.1 units for moneyline bettors this year and is currently 15-22 straight up (SU). Through 37 regular season matches, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the visiting team this season, Los Angeles is 5-15 SU.
Los Angeles has converted on just 12.9 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 29th overall and it’s successfully killed off 73.9 percent of all penalties.
Los Angeles’ skaters have been whistled for penalties 3.5 times per game in total this season, 4.0 per game over their past five match ups total, and 4.0 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team’s had to kill penalties 9.2 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Jonathan Quick (25.5 saves per game) has been the main option in the net for Los Angeles. Quick has 10 wins, 14 losses, and two overtime losses to his credit, and has registered a .893 save percentage and 3.05 goals against average this year.
Anze Kopitar (14 goals, 18 assists) will lead the attack for the visiting Kings.
Los Angeles Kings at Buffalo Sabres Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Sabres, O/U – Under
Buffalo’s attempted 30.5 shots per game overall this season (ranked 23rd in the NHL), and 33.8 in their last five home outings.
The Kings are 6-9 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Sabres are 6-5 SU when they serve more minutes than the opposition.
Buffalo has averaged 3.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 5.1 takeaways per game (ranked 31st in the league).
Los Angeles skaters have averaged 6.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, an improvement over its season average of 5.4 takeaways per game (ranked 29th).