Sabres vs Rangers Prediction NHL Picks Free 10/12
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 12, 2023, 12:44:50 AM
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
NHL Predictions: New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres
The New York Rangers (0-0) are eager to start their season on a winning note as they face the Buffalo Sabres (0-0) on Thursday night. This matchup will take place at KeyBank Center and is scheduled to commence at 7 PM ET.
The Rangers had high hopes for a Stanley Cup run last season but were met with a swift exit from the playoffs. Consequently, the team made significant changes, parting ways with head coach Gerald Gallant and appointing Peter Laviolette as their new leader. They also strengthened their roster with the additions of experienced players like Blake Wheeler and Jonathan Quick.
New York Rangers' Outlook
New York exhibited an impressive offensive performance last season, averaging 3.33 goals per game and converting 24.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Artemi Panarin led the charge with 92 points, comprising 29 goals and 63 assists. Mika Zibanejad contributed significantly with 91 points (39 goals, 52 assists), while Adam Fox added 72 points (12 goals, 60 assists).
Defensively, the Rangers were solid, conceding only 2.63 goals per game. Their penalty kill was effective, thwarting 81.2 percent of their penalties.
Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers' star goaltender, posted a remarkable 37-13-8 record last season with a 2.48 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Of note, Shesterkin boasts an impressive 7-0-2 record against Buffalo, accompanied by a 1.74 GAA and a .940 save percentage.
Buffalo Sabres' Perspective
The Buffalo Sabres displayed positive signs of progress in their rebuild last season, finishing with a winning record. They have retained their core players and made strategic acquisitions like Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton. Additionally, their 13th overall draft pick, Zach Benson, adds promise to their roster as they set their sights on the playoffs this season.
Offensively, Buffalo was potent last season, averaging 3.57 goals per game and capitalizing on 23.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Tage Thompson led the Sabres with 94 points (47 goals, 47 assists), while Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch contributed significantly with 82 points (35 goals, 47 assists) and 79 points (36 goals, 43 assists), respectively.
Defensively, the Sabres encountered challenges, surrendering an average of 3.62 goals per game. Their penalty kill efficiency was also a concern, as they successfully defended against only 73 percent of their penalties.
In goal, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen posted a record of 17-11-4 last season with a 3.61 GAA and a .892 save percentage. However, Luukkonen faces a tough challenge against the Rangers, with a 0-2-1 record, a 2.35 GAA, and a .929 save percentage.
As the New York Rangers step onto the ice to face the Buffalo Sabres, history appears to be on their side. The Rangers have dominated the head-to-head matchups, winning 10 of the last 13 games against the Sabres.
With their revamped roster and a determination to make amends for last season's early playoff exit, the Rangers are poised for victory. Expect them to capitalize on their recent dominance over the Sabres and secure a triumphant start to their season.
Stay tuned for more NHL predictions and expert picks, available on KingPin.pro's iOS and Android app.
Pick: Rangers ML -135