Sabres at Penguins Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 4/2/2013
Sometimes you have to really work to find a storyline or two to make a game interesting — especially in a situation like this where one team is clearly not heading to the playoffs. What makes this game so very interesting, though, is that there are so many storylines to look at that it is almost ridiculous. Let’s just look at six that are going to be a factor in this one:
Sabres at Penguins Betting storylines
The streak: It’s April. The last time the Penguins lost was in February. That’s right — they didn’t lose a single game in March. 15 straight wins. Wow. The most impressive part about it all, though, is just how incredibly good this team, which is built around ridiculous offensive depth, has been playing defensively. Their last three wins have been by shutout. They haven’t allowed more than two goals in 11 games. They have allowed just nine goals over that stretch. It’s no wonder they are winning so much.
Sidney Crosby: On his first shift on Saturday, Crosby took a puck in the face. It broke his jaw, and he’s out for an indefinite amount of time. He has been incredibly good — 56 points in 36 games — so his loss will certainly be felt. Luckily, the team got too much experience playing without their superstar (one of them, anyway) last year, so the impact won’t be as steep as it could be for other teams.
Jarome Iginla: The Penguins acquired the long-time captain of the Flames late last week, but thanks to immigration issues he didn’t arrive much before the Saturday afternoon game. He played pretty well given that he was essentially faking it. Now he has had a chance to practice with the team, get settled, and take a breath. He has a chance to have an impact in this one.
Chris Kunitz: Crosby’s linemate will not only be worried by the loss of his sugar daddy, but he has to worry about disciplinary action. He uncorked a hit on Saturday that was obviously illegal, so he faces a potential suspension. That may or may not be settled before this game, so it could be a distraction.
Sabres distractions: It has been a disaster of a season for the Sabres. A total mess. This game falls less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, and there is a good chance that the Sabres will be sellers. Guys like Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Robyn Regehr and captain Jason Pominville could all be in play. That has been a clear distraction for this team over the last couple of weeks, and it will only get worse here now that this is the last game the team could be playing in its current form.
Pens still hunting: Regardless of what else happens at the trade deadline, the Penguins are already the winners. They not only added Iginla but also Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, and they didn’t have to give up a single player from their active roster. They might not be done yet, either. Word is that they are still in the market for a fourth-line center for the stretch drive. That’s not a major move, but it could still be a distraction for this team.
Sabres at Penguins NHL Odds and Betting Trends
The Sabres have lost their last four games. The “over” is 8-0-1 the last nine times the Penguins have played on two day’s rest. The last four meetings between these teams have gone over the total. The Sabres are just 1-5 in their last six in Pittsburgh.
Sabres at Penguins Picks and Betting Predictions
The Sabres are inconsistent offensively, are seriously considering trading their goalie, and are full of distractions. The Penguins are defensively stout, and they are playing without at least one of their top two scorers. That all seems to point to the “under” as the comfortable play in this one.
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