Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. Motivation this time of year comes into play in some games and this could one of those times for the Habs, as they will play at home tomorrow night on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. Remember, Montreal is also coming off a hard fought 5-3 loss to the Penguins, thus, this game is sandwiched between Pittsburgh and Washington on a Saturday night in Montreal. Aside from that, the Habs come in extremely banged up with as many as five key players on the rack (Max Pacioretty, Shea Weber, Victor Mete, Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw) among other lesser impact players. Another example of the Habs putting less emphasis on this game than tomorrow’s at home against the Caps is that Claude Julien has named Antti Niemi tonight’s starter and Carey Price tomorrow’s starter. Lastly, Montreal has the NHL’s worst road record with nine wins in 37 games and now they’re road chalk in an unfavorable spot?
Buffalo has lost four of its last five and has the worst record in the NHL but in no way is this the worst group of talent in the NHL. Buffalo is actually playing well without the results. They had a strong game against Nashville and lost 4-0 and also had a strong game against the Maple Leafs in a 5-2 loss. They have four wins over their past 10 games and those victories occurred against Ottawa, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Chicago. Prior to losing 4-1 to Arizona on Wednesday, Buffalo had six wins in their previous 11 games and it was the first time all season that it had less losses than not in a 10-game span. The Sabres are healthy and should be a little extra jacked up tonight to be playing in what figures to be a bigger crowd that usual with so many Canadiens fans in Southern Ontario that will make the short trip across the border. At the end of the day, Montreal cannot be road chalk and therefore Buffalo is the absolute true value play here.
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BUFFALO +102 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.04)