Sabres Host the Coyotes on Tuesday Night
<em>Buffalo Needs Bounce Back Against Arizona</em>
Buffalo Sabres (7-5-0) vs. Arizona Coyotes (4-6-1)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST KeyBank Center
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Coyotes Blog: Five For Howling
Know Your Opponent
Record: 4-6-1 11 PTS
Last Game: 3-2 Win vs. Washington Capitals
Division Ranking: 7th in the Central Division
PP: 5th (28.95%)
PK: 13th (80.95%)
What to Watch
1. Sabres Can’t Look Past the Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes are 7th in the NHL’s Central Division, but they’ve won two of their last four games, including victories over the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals. As Sion Fawkes of SabreNoise pointed out, the Coyotes can pull out a surprise win if the Sabres aren’t careful. It would be easy for Buffalo to look past Arizona to the Thursday night rematch with Vegas and Eichel, but that’s a mistake.
Losing a must-win game against the Coyotes makes beating the Golden Knights a much harder psychological hurdle. The Sabres are already reeling from back-to-back losses to the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. Buffalo needs to get back in the win column and that has to start Tuesday night.
2. Dahlin Returns to Shore Up Depleted D
The Sabres’ defense has been hit hard with injuries and that was very much in evidence during their 5-3 loss to the Lightning. Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju and Mattias Samuelsson all sat out last Saturday’s defeat in Tampa. The remaining defensemen struggled to keep pace with the Bolts’ quick, high-scoring offense.
Samuelsson is expected to be out for the rest of the month and Jokiharju is on IR until at least Nov. 10. However, Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News reported that Dahlin will play against the Coyotes in Tuesday night’s matchup. No. 26 is one of Buffalo’s top defensive assets. Having him back on the roster is a huge boost.
3. Buffalo the Best Bet to Win
Action Network has the Sabres as -1.5 spread favorites, with a 6.5 Over/Under and a -240 moneyline. Betting prognosticator Mike Fink of Winners and Whiners.com concurs with the sportsbook consensus on this game.
Fink highlights Arizona’s poor defense as a major reason Buffalo’s favored to win this contest. The Coyotes allow an average 4.09 goals per game, including nine in their last two. Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka, has struggled with a .901 SV%, and 3.72 GAA, something Buffalo’s superior offense should take advantage of at home.
Casey Mittelstadt – Tage Thompson – J.J. Peterka
Jeff Skinner – Dylan Cozens – Alex Tuch
Rasmus Asplund – Peyton Krebs – Victor Olofsson
Jack Quinn – Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo
Jacob Bryson – Rasmus Dahlin
Kale Clague – Owen Power
Lawrence Pilut – Casey Fitzgerald
Goaltenders: Eric Comrie (expected), Craig Anderson
Lawson Crouse – Nick Bjugstad – Matias Maccelli
Nick Ritchie – Jack McBain – Christian Fischer
Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayton – Dylan Guenther
Matias Maccelli – Travis Boyd – Liam O’Brien
Juuso Valimaki – J.J. Moser
Josh Brown – Shayne Gostisbehere
Troy Stecher – Patrik Nemeth
Goaltenders: Karel Vejmelka (expected), Connor Ingram