Buffalo Sabres - New York Rangers predictions and free betting tips [12/10/2023]
In the upcoming National Hockey League match, set to take place at KeyBank Center, the Buffalo Sabres will cross paths with the New York Rangers. Let's delve into a preliminary analysis of this contest.
The Sabres continue their pursuit for a playoff berth, something they've been striving for since the 2010-11 season. With 42 wins from the previous year and undertakings of Coach Don Granato, the team is making minimal adjustments to their roster, letting go of Craig Anderson, but obtaining Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton. Young talents like Dylan Cozens, Mattias Samuelsson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Tage Thompson persist in their development while veteran players like Jeff Skinner aim to extend their successful careers. Together the Sabres will once again attempt to answer the call of playoff qualification.
New York Rangers
The Blueshirts are embarking on a new chapter helmed by Peter Laviolette who arrives in the Big Apple from Washington, with aspirations to improve after their 47 victories last campaign. With 753 career wins to his belt, Laviolette is just 47 victories short of becoming the seventh NHL coach to amass 800 career wins. The team boasts stars such as Norris Trophy holder Adam Fox and Vezina Trophy hunter Igor Shesterkin. Also worth noting is the significant arrival of two-time Stanley Cup Champion goaltender Jonathan Quick, who despite his age of 38 will infuse invaluable experience into the side.
Russian native Artemi Panarin proved to be a leader for the Rangers last year, amassing 92 points from 29 goals and 63 assists. Mika Zibanejad set his career point-high at 91, netting 39 goals and earning 52 assists, while Adam Fox harvested 72 points, scoring 12 goals and proffering 60 assists. Igor Shesterkin ended last season with a 37-13-8 record, featuring a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.48 and a save percentage of .916. Against Buffalo, his performance is even more impressive: with 7 wins, 0 losses, and 2 ties, a GAA of 1.74 and a remarkable save percentage of .940.
On paper, the Blueshirts appear stronger and are likely to be favourites given their recent showdowns with the Sabres which saw them secure victory in 7 out of their last 10 matches.
Prediction for Buffalo Sabres - New York Rangers match
Last season, the Rangers secured fifth place in the Eastern Conference, showcasing strong offensive prowess with over three goals scored per match. Despite conspicuous absence of high-profile transfers in the offseason, the team has strengthened their line-up which should positively impact their performance in the current season. The Rangers made quite an impression on the power play, executing over 24% of their chances, and are likely to not face any difficulties in scoring against the Sabres who last season were among the worst teams in penalty killing, allowing more than 3.5 goals per game.
On the flip side, Buffalo Sabres finished their prior season with a positive record and are hopeful to improve on that this year. They also displayed good offensive hockey, netting more than three goals per match and capitalising on power play opportunities efficiently. However, the Rangers were amongst the league's best in penalty killing, conceding less than three goals per game, implying that they could resist Sabres' strikes. This match could provide the Sabres a chance to make an immediate impact and set the tone for the remainder of the season, especially playing at home. However, the New York lineup appears stronger and Shesterkin's influence cannot be overlooked. My bet is on the visitors.