Face-off: 1900 ET, 26/11/2021
Venue: KeyBank Center
Boston are on a four-game losing streak but have had a tough schedule and the feeling is that they should find Montreal more conducive company.
The beleaguered Canadiens are 1-8-1 on the road this term and have the worst defensive record in the league after winning just one in six of late.
Having secured five of their seven victories on home ice, we’re happy to take 2.55 for the hosts to oblige in regular time in our Buffalo Sabres vs Montreal Canadiens predictions.
Buffalo Sabres Odds
Admittedly, Buffalo must do better than when thrashed 5-1 by Boston at KeyBank Center on Wednesday, despite taking the lead through Kyle Okposo.
Bringing Aaron Dell in to give Dustin Tokarski a chance to recover from conceding 17 times in three previous losses backfired.
The 32-year-old journeyman was beaten four times towards the end of the first period before being replaced.
Sabres chief Don Granato said: “Never have I been comfortable as a coach trying to say it’s a goaltending thing.
“Even if at times you thought maybe that could’ve been a save, you still look at the things that led to that and work to improve those.
“This little stretch is exposing us to things that we need to target and become better at – and we will. We will become better at it going through this.”
Seeing Tokarski stop 24 of the 25 shots he faced was a boost to morale and gives Buffalo something to build on.
“He looked like himself in there, which was great after not looking so much like himself last game,” Granato added. “That was definitely a positive.”
Tokarski will be determined to shine against his former club and we’re going with the Sabres to prevail by any two-goal margin at 8.25 from the NHL odds on this match.
Montreal Canadiens Odds
Montreal’s 6-3 loss in Washington was a good result for our followers, with 4.75 for the Capitals to win by exactly three goals being one of three successful selections out of four in that match preview.
A third straight road defeat left the Canadiens second from bottom in the Eastern Atlantic, four points below Buffalo, despite having played twice more.
Jake Evans and Artturi Lehkonen each had a goal and an assist for the Habs but lapses in concentration at the back again proved costly.
Evans commented: “I think we’re working hard, but I just think sometimes we lose coverage, we lose a quick battle and it bites us.
“We’re all feeling pretty bad about our games and we’re all feeling bad about how this season has started off for us. It’s time to turn the corner.”
Montreal can arguably boast the better squad on paper in this match-up, but their low intensity levels have had alarm bells ringing.
Buffalo will be fired up to give their fans something to cheer about and may just outwork the Habs over three periods.
The Sabres actually have the league’s best scoring record in the second period, with a tally of 26 goals being three more than the nearest total.
Montreal have the second worst defensive stats in the middle section, so 2.7 for Buffalo to win P2 completes our NHL predictions at KeyBank Center.
BUFFALO 1-5 Boston
Washington 6-3 MONTREAL
Head-to-head: Buffalo 5-1 Montreal, Buffalo 1-3 Montreal, Buffalo 5-4 Montreal, Montreal 7-4 Buffalo
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