Sabres vs Canadiens Prediction - NHL Picks 1/4/24

Montreal Canadiens (16-16-5) vs Buffalo Sabres (15-19-4)

Game Info: Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 7:00 pm (Bell Centre)

Betting Odds: Montreal Canadiens +112 / Buffalo Sabres -134 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Buffalo Sabres will play the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Buffalo has lost three of their last four games, while Montreal has also lost three of their last four. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Sabres vs Canadiens prediction.

Sabres Preview

The Buffalo Sabres are 15-19-4 this year after they lost to Ottawa by a score of 5-1 in their last game. Buffalo trailed 2-1 after the first period and they allowed the last three goals in the game for the loss. The Sabres out shot Ottawa by a total of 46-31 and went 0-3 on the power play in the game. Buffalo defeated Columbus by a score of 3-2 in the game prior to Ottawa, but lost to the Bruins and the Rangers before that. The Sabres are scoring 2.92 goals per game and they are allowing 3.45 goals against per game, while going 12.8% on the power play and 77.8% on the penalty kill. Casey Mittelstadt has led Buffalo with 10 goals, 21 assists, and 61 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Buffalo is Devon Levi, who is 7-6-2 this year with a 3.36 goals against average and a .888 save percentage. 

Canadiens Preview

The Montreal Canadiens are 16-16-5 this season after they defeated Dallas by a score of 4-3 in their last game. Montreal trailed 1-0 early in the first period, but they scored the next four goals and were able to hang on for the win. The Canadiens were out shot by a total of 33-18 and went 1-3 on the power play in the game. Montreal lost to Tampa Bay, Florida, and Carolina in the three games prior to Dallas. The Canadiens are scoring 2.78 goals per game and they are allowing 3.38 goals against per game, while going 18.6% on the power play and 72.8% on the penalty kill. Nick Suzuki has led Montreal with 12 goals, 22 assists, and 90 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Montreal is Sam Montembeault, who is 8-5-3 this year with a 2.94 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. 

Montreal Canadiens Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won four of the last five games between the Sabres and Canadiens.
  • The favorites have covered the puck line in each of the last four games between the Sabres and Canadiens at Bell Centre.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 3' market has hit in each of the Canadiens' last 13 games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The home team has won the third period in each of the Canadiens' last four games.

Buffalo Sabres Team Facts

  • The favorites have won seven of the Sabres' last eight games at Bell Centre.
  • The Sabres have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last six games as favorites against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The Sabres have won the third period in seven of their last eight games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 2' market has hit in each of the Sabres' last six games.

Montreal Canadiens Player Prop Facts

  • Nick Suzuki has scored a goal in four of the Canadiens' last five home games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • Nick Suzuki has recorded at least one point in eight of the Canadiens' last nine games.
  • Jake Evans has recorded an assist in each of the Canadiens' last five games against Atlantic Division opponents at Bell Centre.
  • Nick Suzuki ranks 1st in the league for shootout goals (4) this season.

Buffalo Sabres Player Prop Facts

  • Jeff Skinner has scored at least one goal in four of the Sabres' last five games against the Canadiens.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded at least one point in eight of the Sabres' last nine games as favorites against the Canadiens.
  • Alex Tuch has recorded at least one assist in four of his last five appearances with his team as a favorite against the Canadiens.
  • Jeff Skinner has the equal-most multi-goal games for the Sabres this season (2).

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Montreal Canadiens rank 31st in the league for Period 1 goals scored per game this season (0.57).
  • The Montreal Canadiens rank T30th in the league for power play goals against this season (34).
  • The Buffalo Sabres rank 32nd in the league for Period 1 goals allowed per game this season (1.34).
  • The Buffalo Sabres rank 30th in the league in save percentage this season (.883).

Sabres vs Canadiens Betting Prediction

Both of these teams come into this game after losing three of their last four games, but Montreal is coming off of a win in Dallas. The Canadiens are 7-9-2 at home, while Buffalo is 7-10-3 on the road. Both of these teams have really struggled this season and neither is scoring 3.00 goals per game, but I like Montreal in this matchup. The Canadiens have played well in two straight games against Tampa Bay and Dallas and I think they get another win here. 

David’s Pick Canadiens ML

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

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