Sabres vs. Panthers Preview

buffalo sabres vs florida panthers nhl odds nhl betting information nhl preview ryan miller

SUNRISE, FL (AP) - The Buffalo Sabres are back in the playoff discussion in the Eastern Conference due to a six-week surge. Their road success in that span should have the Sabres confident about solving the team right behind them in the standings.

View Current Buffalo Sabres Odds

Buffalo looks to hand the Florida Panthers a fifth consecutive home loss Thursday night and beat them for the first time in three tries this season.

Two defeats to the Panthers in December were part of a 1-4-0 stretch which dropped the Sabres to 12th in the East, 12 points out of a playoff spot. Since Dec. 27, however, Buffalo has gone 11-4-1 to move up to 10th and within four points of eighth-place Carolina.

According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Sabres -121 money line favorites for Thursday's game against the Panthers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 62% of more than 95 bets for this game have been placed on the Panthers +112.

The Sabres (25-22-5) have won four of five, including matching their season high for goals in a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Drew Stafford recorded his third hat trick of the season, and the Sabres scored five goals in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit.

Jordan Leopold tied the game at 3 with some help from Stafford, who was ruled to be pushed into Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson as the puck slipped past him.

"I didn't see the goal," Stafford said. "I think we got a lot of momentum after that, though ... the turning point of the game. It was a big one. We'll take it."

Three days earlier, Stafford had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win over Toronto.

Thomas Vanek had three points in that victory and in Tuesday's win, giving him 22 over the past 15 games.

Vanek has six goals and seven assists during Buffalo's current 7-2-1 run on the road.

The Sabres had won six of seven road games versus Florida before losing 6-2 on Dec. 17 in their only visit this season.

That matchup saw Ryan Miller get pulled for the first time in 33 games - he gave up four goals in the first period - and he was in net for a 4-3 home loss to the Panthers six days later. Miller had been 8-2-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average in his previous 10 starts versus Florida (23-24-6).

The latest meeting began the Panthers' current 21-game stretch that includes 18 decided by one goal. They fell to 7-5-6 in those contests after losing 2-1 to St. Louis on Tuesday.

Florida, three points behind Buffalo, has had six straight decided by a single goal, going 2-3-1.

"It's exhausting on everybody because you're playing 60-plus minutes right to the end," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We've got to find a way to win these one-goal games."

That's been the margin in each of the Panthers' last seven home games and they've lost the last four. They haven't had a longer home losing streak since a six-game skid in 2007-08.

Florida hasn't been giving its goaltender much support. Tomas Vokoun has allowed no more than three goals in eight straight starts but has lost five of them, including defeats in all three in which he's surrendered two or less.

"We just didn't execute well," Vokoun said after making 26 saves Tuesday. "It's hard to score one goal and expect to win."

Vokoun has won both games versus the Sabres this season after going 1-6-1 with a 3.11 GAA in his previous eight against them.

Bet On Sabres vs. Panthers Odds

Want More From TheSpread.com? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!

Recent NHL Discussions

How many more are like this on Wed, Mar 2021 by Surfer
Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Stars vs. Blues Prediction & Odds The Stars and Blues will meet in St. Louis on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. ET and given the lack of scoring in previous meetings between the two teams, is the under...
Thumbnail Canucks vs. Sharks Prediction & Odds The Canucks and Sharks square off at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday night and with both teams struggling, where is the value when it comes to...
Thumbnail Stars vs. Avalanche Prediction & Odds Could the defending Stanley Cup champs be tested on Saturday night when the Avalanche host the Stars at 9:00 p.m. ET?
Thumbnail Hurricanes vs. Bruins Prediction & Odds The Hurricanes and Bruins will square off on Friday afternoon in Boston where the home team is currently favored on the money line. With the total also...
Thumbnail Bruins vs. Panthers Prediction & Odds The Bruins have had good success versus the Panthers in previous meetings between the two teams, who will meet at 7:00 p.m. ET...

NHL Headlines