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Betting Sabres Penguins – Struggling Sabres Host Resilient Penguins In Matinee Game Saturday

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/15/2012 2:48:30 PM
betting sabres penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been among the elite contenders in the Eastern conference for the past several seasons. This year, they were expected to be joined at the top by the Buffalo Sabres after the latter progressed through a promising offseason. However, while the Penguins have managed to overcome a ton of significant injuries in order to remain in contention in the east, the Sabres have struggled mightily through their first 56 games, and are now at risk of falling in to last place in the conference. Buffalo welcomes the Penguins to the First Niagara Center this Saturday afternoon for a matinee game as sports betting underdogs, and are coming off of an 8-3 loss the last time that they played them.

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Buffalo Sabres
Saturday February 19, 2012 – 12:30 PM ET
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
NHL Sportsbook Line: Pittsburgh Penguins

A concussion to Ryan Miller seemed to be the turning point for Buffalo following a strong start, and the team hasn’t been able to break out of its funk ever since. The Sabres rank near the bottom of the NHL in goals scored, but are also ranked 21st in goals allowed with an average of 2.8 against, and it isn’t hard to figure out that if you are allowing more goals than you are scoring you are going to be in trouble.

Betting Sabres Penguins Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

The fact that the Penguins have managed to remain in contention for a playoff spot in the Eastern conference despite missing captain Sidney Crosby among others for the majority of the season is nothing short of incredible, and a quick look at the numbers reveals exactly why they have been so good. Evgeni Malkin has taken his play to another level with a team-high 32 goals and 69 assists, and he has helped the players around him find the score sheet as well. It hasn’t been just about offense this season though with Pittsburgh ranking in the top-half of the league in goals allowed, thanks to an improved defensive core and some strong play from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Betting Sabres Penguins Preview: Buffalo Sabres

While the Penguins have been strong at both ends of the ice, Buffalo has struggled to get going at either end, and have dropped their last two games to the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils by a combined 6-2 score. With the trade deadline right around the corner the Sabres figure to be among the biggest sellers after taking on so much salary in the offseason, but the odds are it won’t be easy to find buyers for players like Ville Leino or Derrick Roy. Miller hasn’t been the same in goal since his concussion and that has had a big effect on the team, so it could be a matter of him taking some time off in the summer and resting to get back to where he was before both he and the team show some significant improvement.

Betting Sabres Penguins Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Penguins are sports bet favorites for this road game for a reason, and as long as they continue to show the resiliency they have demonstrated all year it won’t be a surprise to see them pull out another big win with Malkin continuing to lead the way. The Sabres approached this season all wrong and are now paying for it, so the hope now for Buffalo fans is that owner Terry Pegula will have learned his lesson and they will come back a stronger team for it next year.

Betting Sabres Penguins Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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