Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils 4/8/21 Game Preview

The Sabres wrap up their season series with the Devils when they face off tonight in New Jersey. 

Buffalo enters the matchup with a 4-2-1 record in the series and 3-0-2 record in the last five games. 

Expected Lines

Sabres

Asplund – Mittelstadt – Thompson

Olofsson-Reinhart-Okposo

Skinner-Sheahan-**

Rieder-Eakin-Fogarty

Bryson-Ristolainen

Dahlin-Jokiharju

Miller-Montour

Ullmark

Devils

Kuokkanen – Hughes – Sharangovich 

Bratt – Zacha – Wood

Johnsson – Maltsev – Boqvist

** – McLeod – Thompson 

Kulikov – Subban 

Murray – Severson

Smith – Vatanen

 

Blackwood 

Tale of the Tape

Record: Buffalo (9-23-6; 8th division/31st league) vs. New Jersey Devils (13-18-6; 7th division/27h league)

5v5 Goals For %: Buffalo (38.3%; 31st) vs. New Jersey Devils (47.48%; 18th)

5v5 xGoals For %: Buffalo (46.64%; 25th) vs. New Jersey Devils (50.41%; 14th)

Point Leaders: Reinhart (24) vs. Zacha (22)

Adios, New Jersey

As alluded to above, tonight’s matchup is the 8th and final meeting between the Sabres and Devils this season.

The Sabres have enjoyed success against New Jersey this season boasting a .643 pts% in the games played, the best of their 7 opponents. 

The Devils face a similar uphill climb to Buffalo’s in the East Division, so it’s nice to see the Sabres capitalize on the low hanging fruit throughout the series. Adversely, the Devils have done a better job against the remainder of the field. 

Surprisingly, the Devils are 4-0-0 this season against the Boston Bruins. 

Heating Up 🔥

– Casey Mittelstadt added a goal and assist last game to bring his point streak to four games (3G, 2A). 

The 2017 1st round pick has increasingly gotten better with more ice time and responsibility under Don Granato. 

It’s also been promising to see Mittelstadt’s success come at his natural position in the middle of the ice rather than his previous spot on the wing.

Cozens, Reinhart and Mittelstadt have all transitioned from Center to wing at one point this season and have generated good results while doing so. 

Trade Value 📈

It’s a shame that Don Granato and the Sabres may have finally unlocked Brandon Montour’s potential in Buffalo as he’s on his way out the door. 

The offensive minded defenseman has four goals in the last five games while looking his best in a Sabres jersey thus far. 

Montour is an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season and has been heavily rumored in trade talks. it would not be a surprise if he were playing for another team following Monday’s Trade Deadline. 

Ullmark vs the Devils 

Linus Ullmark is 4-0-0 against New Jersey this season.

Prediction:

The Sabres continue their hot streak from the last five games and season series against New Jersey. 

5-1 Buffalo. 

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