Buffalo Sabres vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - 12/31/19 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Lightning (20-13-4) at Buffalo Sabres (17-16-7)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 7:00 pm (KeyBank Center)
The Line: Buffalo Sabres +150 / Tampa Bay Lightning -180 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres meet in NHL action from the KeyBank Center on Tuesday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to build on their current three-game winning streak after a 2-1 win over Detroit in their last outing. The game was scoreless through the opening 20 minutes before Ondrej Palat opened the scoring for the Bolts 4:10 into the 2nd period. Detroit would tie the game up at one with just over two minutes to go in the middle frame, but Brayden point would restore Tampa Bay’s lead on the power play just 5:33 into the 3rd period. The Lightning stifled the Red Wings the rest of the way, slamming the door shut as Detroit couldn’t find a game-tying goal down the stretch. Curtis McElhinney got the win to improve to 4-4-2 on the year after stopping 19 of 20 shots faced in the winning effort.
The Buffalo Sabres will be out to snap a three-game losing streak after a 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins last time out. Boston opened the scoring with the lone goal of the opening period before Rasmus Ristolainen tied the game at one for the Sabres with the only goal of the 2nd period. Boston broke ahead 3-1 early in the 3rdwith a pair of power play goals :18 apart, but Curtis Lazar would pull one back for the Sabres just 2:13 later. Despite their best efforts, outshooting the B’s 26-22, Buffalo wouldn’t find a game-tying goal the rest of the game as Boston picked up the win and the two points. Linus Ullmark took the loss, falling to 11-10-3 on the year after allowing all 3 goals on 22 shots faced in the losing effort.
Tampa Bay is 43-9 in their last 52 division games and 40-12 in their last 52 games against a team with a losing record while the under is 6-1 in their last 7 road games. Buffalo is 8-20 in their last 28 games overall and 0-5 in their last 5 division games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record. Tampa Bay is 22-6 in the last 28 meetings between these two teams and 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams in Buffalo.
The plus money with Buffalo given their home record is tempting on the surface, but the problem is that the Sabres are still struggling right now while the Bolts have owned the rest of the Atlantic division dating back to last year and Buffalo is no different. I just think that Tampa Bay gets the win here so I’ll side with the Lightning in regulation to get a more favorable price.