Sabres vs Rangers Prediction - NHL Picks 12/23/23

New York Rangers (22-8-1) vs Buffalo Sabres (14-17-3)

Game Info: Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 7:30 pm (Madison Square Garden)

Betting Odds: New York Rangers -210 / Buffalo Sabres +172 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Buffalo Sabres will play the New York Rangers on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Buffalo has lost two of their last three games, while New York had their winning streak snapped on Friday. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Sabres vs Rangers prediction.

Sabres Preview

The Buffalo Sabres are 14-17-3 this year after they defeated Toronto by a score of 9-3 in their last game. Buffalo scored three goals in each period in the blowout win. The Sabres out shot Toronto by a total of 34-27 and went 1-5 on the power play in the game. Buffalo lost to Columbus by a score of 9-4 and Arizona by a score of 2-0 in the two games prior to Toronto. The Sabres are scoring 3.03 goals per game and they are allowing 3.41 goals against per game, while going 14.3% on the power play and 80.4% on the penalty kill. Casey Mittelstadt has led Buffalo with eight goals, 20 assists, and 51 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Buffalo is Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who is 6-8-1 this season with a 3.17 goals against average and a .893 save percentage. 

Rangers Preview

The New York Rangers are 22-8-1 this season after they lost to Edmonton by a score of 4-3 in their last game. New York led 1-0 in the third period, but allowed three goals in the final period for the loss. The Rangers out shot Edmonton by a total of 34-28 and went 1-3 on the power play in the game. New York had won their three previous games against Toronto, Boston, and Anaheim. The Rangers are scoring 3.33 goals per game and they are allowing 2.70 goals against per game, while going 31.3% on the power play and 85.3% on the penalty kill. Artemi Panarin has led New York with 17 goals, 26 assists, and 129 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for New York is Igor Shesterkin, who is 12-7-0 this year with a 2.86 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. 

New York Rangers Team Facts

  • The Rangers have won each of their last six night games at Madison Square Garden following a loss.
  • The Rangers have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last five games as favorites against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The Rangers have won the third period in five of their last six games at Madison Square Garden following a loss.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 3' market has hit in each of the Rangers' last eight games at Madison Square Garden.

Buffalo Sabres Team Facts

  • The Sabres have lost each of their last 10 games as underdogs following a win.
  • The Sabres have covered the puck line in seven of their last eight games against the Rangers.
  • The Sabres have won the third period in each of their last four games as underdogs against opponents on a winning streak.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 3' market has hit in each of the Sabres' last seven games following a home win.

New York Rangers Player Prop Facts

  • Mika Zibanejad has scored a goal in each of the Rangers' last five games at Madison Square Garden.
  • Mika Zibanejad has recorded at least one point in each of the Rangers' last 10 home games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • Mika Zibanejad has recorded at least one assist in each of his last seven home appearances after playing less than 20 minutes the previous day.
  • Chris Kreider has scored two goals against the Sabres this season - equal-most against any opponent.

Buffalo Sabres Player Prop Facts

  • John-Jason Peterka has scored a goal in each of the Sabres' last four games as underdogs against the Rangers.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded at least one point in each of the Sabres' last six games against Metropolitan Division opponents.
  • John-Jason Peterka has scored the first goal in three of the Sabres' last four games as underdogs against the Rangers.
  • Alex Tuch has recorded at least one assist in five of his last six appearances against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • John-Jason Peterka has scored two goals against the Rangers this season - most against any opponent.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The New York Rangers are the only team in the league to rank top 5 for both power play and penalty kill percentage this season.
  • The New York Rangers rank 2nd in the league for power play goals this season (31).
  • The Buffalo Sabres rank T30th in the league in short handed goals allowed this season (6).
  • The Buffalo Sabres rank 29th in the league for Period 1 goals scored per game this season (0.74).

Sabres vs Rangers Betting Prediction

New York had their three game winning streak snapped on Friday against the Oilers, but they are still 10-4-0 at home. New York has allowed two goals or fewer in four of their last six games and will have Shesterkin in net here. Buffalo has lost eight of their last twelve games, but they did erupt for nine goals against Toronto in their last game. The Sabres will have the rest advantage, but I like New York here. The Rangers are one of the best teams in the NHL and their defense will be the difference in this game. Take the Rangers -1.5 in this contest. 

David’s Pick Rangers -1.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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