Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils 3/16/21 Game Preview

Would it be irrational to call this a winnable game while on an 11-game losing streak? Asking for a friend.

Lucky enough for the Sabres, this joke is a dead-end as it applies to both teams tonight.

Yes, that’s right, the New Jersey Devils have an 11-game losing streak of their own. Unlike Buffalo, New Jersey’s losing streak is only including their past 11 home games, but that’s where the teams play tonight. Given that, we’ll hang our hats on this narrative as the interesting storylines are few and far between in this one.

Reminiscent of Buffalo, here’s how the Devils’ season has gone since last facing the Sabres.

Expected Lines

Sabres

Hall-Sheahan-Thompson

Olofsson-Staal-Reinhart

Rieder-Asplund-Okposo

Skinner-Lazar-Mittelstadt

Bryson-Ristolainen

Dahlin-Miller

Irwin-Montour

Hutton

Devils

Wood-Zacha-Palmieri

Johnsson-Hughes-Bratt

Kuokkanen-Zajac-Sharangovich

Gusev-Maltsev-Bastian

Smith-Severson

Kulikov-Subban

Murray-Vatanen

Last 10 games: The Devils are 1-7-2 in their last 10 while the Sabres are 0-9-1.

Tale of the Tape

Record: Buffalo (6-17-4) vs New Jersey (8-13-14)

Point Leaders: Pavel Zacha 17 points vs Sam Reinhart, 19 points.

5v5 Goals: Buffalo: 34 (31st) vs New Jersey: 44 (25th)

Expected Goals-For Percentage: New Jersey: 49.63 (17th) vs Buffalo 47.72 (23rd)

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

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Borrowing some advice from our good pal Eminem: opportunity may only come once in a lifetime, and that’s what the Sabres have with the Devils. If there was ever a game to end this skid, it’s against the team that has an 11-game losing streak category of their own.

It’s astonishing after watching the Sabres the past couple weeks that there’s another team bad enough to only have two more wins than them. And here we are. With the honor of watching them share the ice surface.

Ralph Krueger dodged around the question of whether or not this was a must-win following last night’s game. Looking at the schedule ahead, it’s hard to see any other chance to end the losing streak in sight.

Big 10 Championship

If the Sabres game isn’t treating you well after the first hour, you can catch prospects Linus Weissbach and Ryan Johnson facing off in the Big 10 Championship at 8 P.M.

Prediction: Opportunity comes once in a lifetime

3-1 Sabres win.

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