- What: Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators – 2022-23 NHL Regular Season
- When: Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. EST
- Where: Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Canada
Two of the Eastern Conference’s most struggling squads will square off on Wednesday as the Buffalo Sabres travel up north to take on the Ottawa Senators. The Sabres have cooled off from their surprisingly hot start, while Ottawa, despite making some big offseason moves, has struggled thus far into the year. The Senators will look to turn things around with a win on their home ice in what figures to be a high-scoring game.
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Sabres vs. Senators Odds
|Puck Line||Money Line||Total|
|Buffalo Sabres||+1.5 (-185)||+135||O 6.5 (-125)|
|Ottawa Senators||-1.5 (+160)||-160||U 6.5 (+105)|
Heading into Wednesday night’s clash, the Sabres are considered underdogs on the road. Buffalo enters with (+135) odds to win the game, suggesting it’ll be a tight-knit battle vs. the Senators (-160). The belief in a close game is also echoed through the spread, which lists Sabres +1.5 at (-185). Finally, the teams are anticipated to put on an offensive clinic on Wednesday, with the total leaning heavily towards the over at 6.5 goals (-125).
Buffalo got off to a hot start in 2022-23 but have quickly seen their success turn around, losing each of their last six games. Despite breakout campaigns from Norris Trophy candidate Rasmus Dahlin and sharpshooting winger Tage Thompson, the Sabres find themselves second to last in the Atlantic Division. The only team below them is the Senators.
Thompson is off to a torrid start to the year, racking up 21 points in 16 games, including 11 goals and ten assists. He’s the team leader in goals and points. Rasmus Dahlin is hot on his heels with 18 points in 15 games, including seven goals and 11 assists. Despite the high level of play displayed by them two and various others on the squad, the overall product has not been there.
Buffalo has scored 59 goals in its first 16 games, averaging 3.68 goals per game. Unfortunately, their defense has been porous, surrendering a total of 57 goals (3.56 per game). Their 59 goals are second to only the Boston Bruins in the division, but only Ottawa has conceded more often than the Sabres. If they want to sustain any type of success throughout the season, they’ll need to fix their inconsistencies on defense when Dahlin is off the ice, as well as shore up their problems in the net.
Despite their six-game skid, the Sabres have scored three or more goals in four of their last six games. On the year, Buffalo has hit that mark in 12 of 16 games. Defensively, however, they’ve conceded 29 goals during their six-game losing streak, which has counteracted their effective play in the attacking zone. Buffalo will also be coming in off a back-to-back, having lost 5-4 against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. With the winds out of their sails, this game figures to be another high-scoring affair.
As previously mentioned, the only Atlantic Division team in a worse position than Buffalo right now is the Ottawa Senators. Currently, in the division’s basement, the Senators have scored 51 goals this season but have been atrocious on defense, where they have conceded 53 times in 15 games.
In their last 10 games, the Senators are 2-7-1. Despite the offseason acquisitions of Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux, the Senators have not been able to find the level of success they were anticipating at the start of the season. Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, and Shane Pinto have all been excellent in attack, but the loss of Josh Norris was a big blow for the team.
Leading the team in points this season is Tkachuk, who has racked up 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) in 15 games. Giroux has 17 points (second on the team) and is just ahead of Stutzle, who has 15. While their offense has been firing, for the most part, they still haven’t converted that into wins. Defenseman Thomas Chabot is the team’s leading skater, with over 25 minutes on the ice per game.
Defensively is where the issues arise for Ottawa. Chabot has a plus/minus of -4 on the year, which is not ideal for a team’s top defenseman. Lacking a true defensive superstar, Senators goalies face an average of 34.2 shots on goal per game. That’s the eighth most in the NHL, and against a shot-happy team like the Sabres, it could lead to an abundance of goals. While Anton Forsberg has had a strong year, there’s only so much he can do when opponents have that many opportunities on the net.
Both the Senators and the Sabres are among the least effective penalty-killing teams in hockey, at 76.8 percent and 71.4 percent, respectively. This season, the Senators have given up the second-most penalties in hockey, indicating there may be plenty of power play opportunities. Because of that, I’m anticipating the two poor defensive teams to continue their recent trends of conceding plenty of goals. The pick for the Sabres-Senators clash is Over 6.5 Total Goals (-125).
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