The Sabres have played high-event hockey all season long. Buffalo leads the NHL with an average of 7.21 total goals per game, ranks third in goals scored per contest (3.72) and 23rd in goals against average (3.49).
Those kinds of numbers make the Sabres the type of team that can beat anybody on any given night, but also a dangerous favorite. Buffalo is just 4-4 on the season when it closes at -180 or higher in 2022-23. It’ll be in that range against Columbus on Tuesday night.
Sabres vs. Blue Jackets prediction
(7 p.m. ET., ESPN+/Hulu)
Adding to the risk of backing the Sabres when they’re chalky is that you just can’t trust the goaltending. Buffalo is carrying three goalies and two of them (Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Eric Comrie) have save percentages under .900 and have combined for a -14.8 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Craig Anderson, the oldest player in the NHL at 41, is the only netminder with strong numbers, but the Sabres are careful not to overwork the longtime NHLer, who has been superb with a .920 save percentage in 20 outings.
Betting on the NHL?
The Blue Jackets have been terrible all season, but they’re 4-2-2 in their last eight and have not lost by more than two goals since Feb. 10. Joonas Korpisalo has been terrific for the Jackets in goal and is keeping them in games night after night.
The Sabres can quickly overrun the Jackets on Tuesday, but Korpisalo’s form and the way the Blue Jackets have been fighting lately makes it a tempting underdog in Western New York.
Blue Jackets vs. Sabres pick
THE PLAY: Blue Jackets ML (BetMGM, +180)