The Buffalo Sabres host the Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Arena on Tuesday, January 11th, looking to snap their five-game losing streak. Tampa Bay is 2-2 in their last four contests: averaging 3.25 goals a game. The Sabres are 10-18-6 in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 26 points. The Lightning are 23-9-5 and tied for first place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Tampa Bay’s game scheduled for Monday, January 10thagainst New Jersey was postponed due COVID-19 related issues affecting the Devils. In their only matchup of the season (10/25/21), Buffalo beat Tampa Bay 5-1 at home on the strength of 35 saves by Craig Anderson and two goals from Victor Olofsson.
Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. Buffalo Sabres Betting Odds
The Lightning are 58-18 in their last 76 games vs. Atlantic Division foes. Tampa Bay is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Buffalo. The Lightning are listed at +750 to hoist their third straight Stanley Cup. The Sabres are 1-10 in their last 11 home games. Buffalo is 1-6 in their last seven game vs. Atlantic Division foes. The home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the Lightning and the Sabres.
Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Odds
The Lightning are 11th in the NHL scoring 3.2 goals per game. They’re 14th in the league allowing 2.9 goals per game.
The Lightning lost their last game 5-2 to the Bruins this past Saturday night. During their last four games, they’re allowing three goals per game.
Steven Stamkos, the Lightning’s captain is one of my favorite players in the NHL due to his ability to put the puck in the net, grit, and leaderships skills, leads the team in scoring with 41 points (fifth in the NHL). He’s a plus six on the season while playing 18:25 of ice time per game. Alex Killorn is third on the team in scoring with 31 points (11 goals and 20 assists) and is averaging 19:23 of ice time per game in 2021-22.
Victor Hedman is tied for the league lead in points by a defenseman with 36 (7 goals and 29 assists). The 2018 Norris Trophy winner is a plus 10 while leading Tampa Bay’s defensive group in ice time per game at 25:09. Ryan McDonagh leads the team in block shots with 64. He also averages the second most ice time per game by a Lightning defenseman with 22:38 but missed Saturday’s contest against Boston due to a lower body injury.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner is 19-6-3 (with two shutouts) on the season in 28 games. In his last five games, including the loss to Boston on Saturday, he’s 3-2, allowing 2.8 goals per game. Vasilevskiy is one of the three best goalies in the NHL and always gives you a chance to win every night. I will say, I wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Jon Cooper starts Brian Elliott in net against the Sabres since he hasn’t played since New Year’s Eve.
Buffalo Sabres Betting Odds
The Sabres are 26th in the league scoring 2.6 goals per game. They’re also 27th in the league allowing 3.5 goals per game.
The club has been affected by COVID-19 as they currently have multiple players that have been placed in the league’s health and safety protocols. Kyle Okposo who’s third on the team in scoring with 21 points has been out of the lineup since January 3rd and will hopefully be back on the ice soon. Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch two of the key players acquired from Vegas in the Jack Eichel trade have been out of the lineup since January 4th.
Buffalo lost their last game they played 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks after being off for five days. It was a sloppy game with passes failing to connect (especially in their own zone) forcing lots of turnovers, thus causing the Sabres to be down 3-0 after the first period. Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons each scored a goal to get the team back in the game; in the second and third period respectively. Buffalo continued to put pressure on San Jose throughout the third period but couldn’t overcome the three-goal deficit.
Tage Thompson leads the team in scoring with 23 points (12 goals and 11 assists) in 34 games this season. Before this year, his career high for points in a season was 14 (eight goals and six assists) which he accomplished last season. On Monday, 1/10 he was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Jeff Skinner is second on the team in goals with 11, scoring 10 on even strength. In his fourth season with the Sabres, he’s scored 119 points (72 goals and 47 assists). He scored a career-high 40 goals in his first season in Buffalo (2018-19) but hasn’t come close to that total since that campaign.
Rasmus Dahlen leads the Buffalo defensemen in average ice time per game at 20:36, he’s also the groups leading scorer with 22 points; first on the Sabres in assists with 16. Mark Pysyk has played in 34 games this season, scoring seven points. He’s a plus one and is second on the team in block shots with 53.
Goaltending seems to be an ever-present issue for Buffalo since they traded Ryan Miller in February of 2014 to St. Louis. Buffalo has had five different goalies start a game this season (Craig Anderson, Aaron Dell, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Malcolm Subban and Dustin Tokarski). Anderson is 4-2 and played well to start the season but has been out since early November and is month to month due to an upper body injury. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has lost his last three games, allowing 3.7 goals per game