7:09 pm
December 18

Panthers @ Sabres

Who will WIN this matchup?

Florida Panthers (12-13-6)

@ Buffalo Sabres (20-9-5)


Starting Goalies:

Roberto Luongo (FLA): Unconfirmed

Carter Hutton (BUF): Unconfirmed


Current odds:

Florida Panthers: (+110)

Buffalo Sabres: (-130)


 Captain Jack Eichel excelled in setting up goals during November and has turned his attention to scoring them this month as the Buffalo Sabres try to extend their point streak to five games Tuesday night against the visiting Florida Panthers. Eichel recorded 19 assists in 15 contests last month and the Sabres’ center boasts nine goals in the past six games with a plus-7 rating in seven outings during December. The Sabres rebounded from a five-game winless streak by going 3-0-1 over the last four after a 4-2 win at Boston on Sunday, but have dropped six in a row to the Panthers after a 3-2 overtime setback in Florida on Nov. 30.

 The Panthers, who reside in the Atlantic Division cellar, snapped a four-game slide with an impressive 4-3 victory against Toronto on Saturday as captain Aleksander Barkov capped his first career hat trick with the overtime winner. “It’s been a bit of a struggle, a lot of ups and downs,” Florida coach Bob Boughner told reporters. “Maybe it’s a game like this that can kick start something and (we can) play with that same compete we did (Saturday).”

 Barkov’s hat trick gave him four goals and an assist in the past four games and tied fellow forward Mike Hoffman for second on the team with 31 points – seven behind left wing Jonathan Huberdeau. The 25-year-old Huberdeau has also raised his game since Thanksgiving with 21 points over the last 11 contests after registering a goal and an assist in the victory over Toronto. Power forward Nick Bjugstad (four goals, 10 points), who has missed the last four contests with an upper-body injury, could return on this four-game road trip.

 Eichel’s hot streak has pushed his season total to a team-high 45 points while his linemates Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart have also been quite productive. Skinner, who leads the team with 24 goals (four in the last four outings), owns a six-game point streak and Reinhart has been on the scoresheet in 10 straight contests with five tallies and 11 assists during the run. Rookie Rasmus Dahlin posted five of his 19 points in the last two games and fellow defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen owns six assists in seven games this month.

 Buffalo G Carter Hutton stopped 83-of-89 shots the last three games and is 2-0-0 with a .957 save percentage in three career games versus the Panthers.

 Florida F Jayce Hawryluk made his NHL debut Saturday, registering two shots and a minus-1 rating in 5:55 of ice time.

 The Panthers are 16-of-16 and Buffalo is 17-of-17 on the penalty kill over the last six contests.

StreakSmarter Pick
Buffalo Sabres