Canadiens vs. Sabres Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Canadiens are a -130 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Sabres are a +110 underdog and the over-under is 5.
Montreal finished last year with a 47-26-9 record and lost in six games to the New York Rangers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Buffalo ended the year 33-37-12 to miss out on the postseason. The two teams split four meetings 2-2 last year, with the over-under going 1-2-1 in those games.
The Canadiens were led last year by Max Pacioretty with 35 goals and 32 assists in 81 games. Alexander Radulov contributed 18 goals and 36 assists over 76 games. Carey Price posted a 37-20-5 record in goal with a 2.23 GAA and .923 save percentage. Buffalo was paced by Jack Eichel as he recorded 24 goals and 33 assists in 61 games, while Ryan O'Reilly had 20 goals and 35 assists in 72 games. Robin Lehner was 23-26-8 with a 2.68 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
Eichel signed a huge contract extension this week to keep him in Buffalo for the long haul. It's been a slow project, but it seems the Sabres are beginning to turn a corner. When it begins to translate into playoff appearances remains to be seen, but in an opener against Montreal tonight expect to see the dividends of recent drafts pay off. Lehner was solid in goal last year and should have more help around him now. We like the Sabres to notch a win to get the season headed in the right direction.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: BUFFALO SABRES +110