Buffalo Sabres vs. St. Louis Blues Betting and Prediction
The St. Louis Blues enter Thursday night’s contest playing good hockey, going 8-1-1 in their last ten games. They look to keep their winning ways going on the road against the Buffalo Sabres.
The Blues currently sit in third place in the Western Conference’s Central Division with a 43-20-10 record. St. Louis has nine games remaining on its regular-season schedule, and they can still overtake the Minnesota Wild (45-21-6) for second in the Central.
Meanwhile, the Sabres are 27-37-11, sixth place in the Atlantic Division. They enter, having lost six of their last ten games. Despite having no playoffs in their future this season, a young Buffalo squad is looking to end the season by playing spoiler.
Blues Boast Electric Offense in Crowded West
One would be hardpressed to find another team in the NHL playing as well as the St. Louis Blues are right now.
Winners of six in a row, and eight of their last nine, the Blues are looking to head into the playoffs playing their best. If their offense can keep its current pace, they’re likely winning ways should continue.
The Blues’ offense has been one of the more dangerous in the league this season, averaging 3.64 GF/G, the fifth-best in the NHL. Their 266 goals are fourth-highest in the NHL, behind only the Colorado Avalanche (271), Toronto Maple Leafs (277), and Florida Panthers (302).
Seven St. Louis players have surpassed 20 goals this season. Vladimir Tarasenko (28) leads the team in goals, followed by Pavel Buchnevich (25), David Perron (24), Jordan Kyrou (23), Ivan Barbashev (23), Brayden Schenn (21), and Brandon Saad (20).
The Blues’ well-rounded offense has led to success on the powerplay. St. Louis has a 25.82 PP%; only the New York Rangers (25.89 PP%) and Maple Leafs (28.71 PP%) are better.
This season, Ville Husso and Jordan Binnington have split the goaltender duties for St. Louis.
Binnington has made 32 starts, going 14-13-4, with a .901 SV% and a 3.18 GAA.
Meanwhile, Husso has started more games (34) and played far better in net for the Blues. Husso is 23-6-5 with the NHL’s fifth-best save percentage (.925 SV%) and seventh-best goals-against average (2.37 GAA.)
Sabres Hope to Turnaround Struggles As Season Winds to a Close
After a promising start to the 2021-2022 season, the Sabres have had difficulties finding traction most of the year. The Sabres opened the season, winning five of their first eight games, but went downhill fast.
Buffalo posted a winning mark in October but didn’t post another winning month until March, when they went 8-3-3. Since March, they’ve posted a winning record, going 10-7-3.
More recently, they haven’t been so fortunate. Despite entering Thursday night’s contest coming off a 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs, the Sabres have lost seven of their last 11 games.
Buffalo struggles have been on both ends of the ice this season. Offensively, they average 2.73 GFG; on the defensive side of things, they give up 3.51 GA/G. Both averages are eighth-worst in the NHL.
24-year-old Tage Thompson leads the Sabres in goals with 33, followed closely by Jeff Skinner with 31 goals. No other Buffalo player has reached 20 goals.
This season, the Sabres have started six different goaltenders, but Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski have split the starts between the pipes.
Anderson has made 28 starts, going 15-11-2 with a .900 SV% and a 3.09 GAA. Meanwhile, Tokarski has made 24 starts, with a 24-7-11 record, a .901 SV%, and a 3.27 GAA.
Blues Should Continue Winning Ways on Road Against Sabres
The Sabres are 14-17-6 at home this season; only the Philadelphia Flyers (13-18-6), Ottawa Senators (13-21-3), and Montreal Canadians (10-25-1) are worse in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, the Blues own a winning mark on the road (18-11-6) and are 4-0-1 over their last five games away from the Enterprise Center.
The Blues and Sabres have met only once this season, a 5-3 Blues victory on February 25.
The over/under of this game is at 6 1/2 goals. Three of St. Louis’ last seven games have surpassed that total; five of Buffalo’s last seven games have gone past 6 1/2 goals.
The Buffalo Sabres are the pick at -200 with the over.