Sabres Hope to Strike Oil When They Host Edmonton

<em>Buffalo needs more home ice wins. </em>

Game 62

Buffalo Sabres (32-25-4) vs. Edmonton Oilers (34-22-8)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM KeyBank Center

TV: ESPN+, Hulu

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Oilers Blog: Copper and Blue

Know Your Opponent

Edmonton Oilers

Record: 34-22-8

Last Game: 7-5 loss to the Winnipeg Jets

Division Ranking: 4th in the Pacific Division

PP: 1st (31.86%)

PK: 25th (75.22%)

What to Watch

1.  Stay Out of the Box

The Edmonton Oilers are an NHL No. 1 in power play opportunities, scoring almost 32% of the time with the man advantage. While that’s still less one third of their PP chances, it’s better than any other team in the league, including the Sabres.

If Buffalo hopes to beat an Oilers unit that’s its equal in the standings, the Blue and Gold must stay out of the penalty box as much as possible. With the way the refs love to put their thumb on the scales against the Sabres, that’s easier said than done, but the home team has to try.

While the Oil are great at scoring with the man advantage, they’re not so strong on penalty kills, ranking a league 25th. Buffalo has a much better chance of scoring on an Edmonton penalty than killing off one of its own. If the Sabes do get a power play, they need to control the puck and take multiple shots on net, something Buffalo’s lines don’t always do consistently.

2.  Buffalo Needs More Wins at Home

The Buffalo Sabres are much better on the road than at home this season, enjoying a 19-9-2 away record vs. 13-16-2 at KeyBank Center, according to Champs or With plenty of home ice matchups left, the team needs to step up or ending that 12 years and counting playoff drought will remain elusive.

Buffalo’s record against Edmonton is 30-42-10. While that doesn’t look good at first glance, the Sabres have dominated the Copper and Blue in recent years, winning four of their last six meetings and not losing to the Oilers at home since 3/4/2019. The hosts can keep that streak alive, if they play aggressive, consistent hockey.

3.  Bet on Underdog Sabres to Win

The majority of bettors favor the Oilers in this contest, but Mike Fink of Winners and advises you to go against the wagering flow. Both opponents enjoy high-scoring offenses, with Edmonton averaging 3.88 goals per game and 16 in its last three. Buffalo’s lines have a combined 3.74 GPG and 25 in their last 6.

Each team has a mediocre defense to match its high-powered offense. The Oilers’ D allows an average 3.31 GPG, while the Sabres cough up 3.56. Both sides struggle to keep opponents from getting goals, which should make for an exciting game.

Fink predicts the Sabres will control this contest on home ice, with Dahlin and Power leading the defense to limit the Oilers’ scoring chances while Thompson, Skinner and Co. get down to business on Edmonton’s net. Take the Sabres moneyline as home underdogs and enjoy great odds in the process.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson -Jack Quinn

Casey Mittelstadt – Dylan Cozens – Vinnie Hinostroza

JJ Peterka – Peyton Krebs – Victor Olofsson

Jordan Greenway – Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo


Rasmus Dahlin - Henri Jokiharju

Owen Power – Ilya Lyubushkin

Jacob Bryson - Kale Clague

Goaltenders: Craig Anderson (likely), Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Eric Comrie

Injuries: Tyson Jost, Alex Tuch

Edmonton Oilers


Ryan McLeod – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Leon Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto

Warren Foegele – Nick Bjugstad – Mattias Janmark

Klim Kostin – Devin Shore – Derek Ryan


Darnell Nurse – Cody Ceci

Mattias Elkhorn – Evan Bouchard

Brett Kulak – Vincent Desharnais

Goaltenders: Stuart Skinner (likely), Jack Campbell

Injuries: Evander Kane, Ryan Murrray