Wednesday NHL Picks
Our team of writers and handicappers hand out their hockey picks and predictions for Wednesday, January 21.
Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche, 9:05PM ET
Though goals have been hard to come by at times for the Colorado Avalanche, that wasn't the case in their latest contest or any of their recent meetings with Los Angeles Kings.
With both clubs coming off rare high-scoring games, the host Avalanche look for a fifth consecutive victory over the Kings on Wednesday night.
While these teams sit in the bottom half of the league for scoring, Colorado (23-22-1) matched a season high for goals in a 6-2 home over Calgary on Sunday to improve to 1-1 on its eight-game home stretch. The total was one fewer than Colorado scored during a three-game losing streak snapped by the victory.
Six different players scored for the Avalanche, including Milan Hejduk and Ryan Smyth, who each posted the 300th goal of their careers.
The top-line pair are two of the eight who have scored the last 10 goals for Colorado, which continues to search for consistent offense with stars Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny still sidelined with injuries.
Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:35PM ET
The Buffalo Sabres are playing as well as any team in the Eastern Conference, and they got their six-game road trip off to a positive start with a win their last time out.
Given their recent history at Tampa Bay, anything less than a victory on their next stop would be a major disappointment.
The All-Star break will interrupt the Sabres' longest trip of the season this weekend, but first they'll try to pad their momentum Wednesday by winning their eighth straight road game against the Lightning.
Buffalo (24-17-5) has gone 7-2-0 in its last nine games, compiling an East-best 14 points since the start of January.
The best news for the Sabres has been their excellent play on the road, which is where they've spent much of the past month. Buffalo is 4-2-0 away from HSBC Arena in January, and its only two losses have come to Western heavyweights Detroit and Chicago.
The Sabres' road-heavy month isn't done. They kicked off their six-game stretch Monday at Florida, a trip that will take a six-day hiatus for the All-Star break after Wednesday's stop in Tampa.
Buffalo had its hands full against the Panthers, who tied the score at 2 with less than four minutes left in the third period. After a scoreless overtime, Ales Kotalik and Derek Roy scored in a shootout and Ryan Miller stopped both shots he saw to give the Sabres a 3-2 win.
Posted: 1/21/09 10:15AM ET