Buffalo Sabres vs Toronto Maple Leafs - Odds and Predictions

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, ON., Canada

When: Tuesday, December 17, 7PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBC Sports | WFAN

Buffalo Sabres (Away)

Head Coach: Ralph Kreuger{All-Time 35-33-14 BUF, EDM}

Coming off of a loss to the New York Islanders, the Sabres have gone just 5-1-4 in their last ten. They sit second in the Atlantic division but, although they are picking up points, don’t expect that to last much longer with the way they are blowing leads.

Offence

Although the Sabres are ranked above the Maple Leafs in the standings, they have several disadvantages heading into this matchup when it comes to specific statistics.

For starters, Buffalo isn’t shooting nearly as much as Toronto. Buffalo sits ranked 16th in shots and they average just barely over 30 per game. With that said, they certainly are an accurate team as the Sabres have the league’s 11th-best shooting percentage at an even ten per cent.

They will have a significant hill to climb in the faceoff circle as well. Buffalo’s faceoff percentage sits at 45.7 per cent and is the worst percentage in the league. Toronto is tied for third in the league in the same category.

Buffalo is putting pucks in the net, though, and have a combined 95 goals this season – the tenth-most in the NHL. Toronto ranks just above them with 99 goals on the season.

The Sabres sit ranked ten spots behind Toronto when it comes to the power play. The Sabres are 20th in the league with a 17.82 power-play percentage but are equal with the Maple Leafs with 18 power-play goals. However, the Sabres have allowed five shorthanded goals.

Defence

A slight edge has to be given to the Sabres when it comes to the defensive play of these two teams. But only slightly.

The Sabres have allowed fewer goals against this season than Toronto and their goaltending tandem has combined for a .906 save percentage this season.

Buffalo has also allowed fewer shots against this season – ten, to be exact. They average just barely under 33 shots against per game.

Unfortunately for the Sabres, they are working with the second-worst penalty-killing unit in the NHL. The team has only a 73.40 penalty-killing percentage and has allowed a total of 25 power-play goals against this season.

Goaltending

Goaltender Linus Ullmark is expected to get the start for the Sabres Tuesday night. Ullmark has a season record of 10-6-3. His goals-against average currently sits at 2.84 and he has a .915 save percentage. He has one shutout on the season.

Toronto Maple Leafs (Home)

Head Coach: Sheldon Keefe{All-Time 7-4-0 TOR}

The Leafs are coming off of a big win over the Edmonton Oilers but they will be playing the next few games without defenseman Tyson Barrie, who left the game after blocking a shot. The Leafs sit behind the Sabres in the Atlantic division in fourth place.

Offense

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently sitting with 99 combined goals this season, the eighth-most in the league. They also rank fourth in the league when it comes to taking shots, having a total of 1,044.

Unfortunately, that only translates to a 9.5 shooting percentage. That ranks them 16th in the league and four spots behind Buffalo in the same category.

Toronto has a significant edge on the power play, ranking tenth in the league with a 20.93 percent and a combined 18 power-play goals. Buffalo averages almost eight penalty minutes per game so Toronto should be able to take advantage of that.

Defense

This season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have actually allowed more goals than they’ve scored, which is surprising considering their level of offensive talent. The Leafs have allowed 101 goals against this season.

The goaltending hasn’t been particularly good and the team has still yet to win a game when Frederik Andersen isn’t on net. The team has a combined save percentage of .900 – the tenth-worst in the league this year.

The Leafs are also in the bottom ten of the league when it comes to killing penalties. With a 76.53 penalty-killing percentage and an allowance of 23 power-play goals against, the Leafs are the seventh-worst when it comes to special teams.

Goaltending

Frederik Andersen will once again be between the pipes Tuesday night for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Andersen has gone 16-8-3 this season. He has a 2.49 GAA to go along with a .921 save percentage. Like Linus Ullmark, Andersen has one shutout on the season.

These two clubs faced off against one another just two weeks ago on November 30. Toronto came away with the victory, defeating the Buffalo Sabres by a final score of 2-1.

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What’s at Stake?

This is a big two points for both of these clubs. Both the Sabres and the Maple Leafs are well within reach of making the playoffs with half of the season still yet to be played.

Both teams need this win, especially considering they are in the same division and, ultimately, fighting for the same playoff position. This win would be especially big for the Sabres who are looking to make the playoffs for their first time since 2011.

Questions to Answer

How much time will Leafs’ defenseman Tyson Barrie miss? X-Rays came back negative for serious injury but he is still expected to miss time after blocking a shot with his ankle.

How will Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen perform against an offensively exhausting Sabres team? The Leafs have been criticized before for over-playing Andersen and he’s already played 27 or 31 games for the club.

Can Buffalo Sabres’ captain Jack Eichel stretch his impressive point streak to 17 games when his team faces off against the Leafs Tuesday night?

Buffalo Sabres Injury Report

D Matt Hunwick – IR/NR (neck)

F Vladimir Sobotka – DL (knee)

F Tage Thompson – DL (upper-body)

Colorado Avalanche Injury Report

F Nathan Horton – IR/NR (back)

F David Clarkson – IR/NR (back)

D Tyson Barrie – day-to-day (ankle)

D Andreas Johnsson – DL (leg)

F Trevor Moore – DL (shoulder)

Buffalo Sabres vs Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

The latest odds for this game are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Sugarhouse NJ.

Good luck!

Money Line

SportsbookSabresMaple Leafs
bet365 NJ+165-185
DraftKings+163-195
SugarHouse NJ+160-195

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