It is an Eastern Conference clash as the Buffalo Sabres travel to the Nation's Capital to take on the Washington Capitals tonight. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Sabres-Capitals prediction and pick.

Buffalo comes in five points out of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, and in a bit of a dry spell, winning only twice in their last eight outings. Tied with them in the standings are the Washington Capitals. The Caps just lost last night to the New York Rangers, and have a quick turnaround, coming home to host the Sabres. The Capitals have won four of their last ten games, with one of those being a 7-4 loss in Buffalo on February 26th. The Capitals have yet to beat the Sabres on the season, also losing in January at home in overtime.

It is young stud Tage Thompson hoping to outshine the ageless Alex Ovechkin in a match-up of two teams that are both in desperate need of two points tonight.

Here are the Sabres-Capitals NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NHL Odds: Sabres-Capitals Odds

Buffalo Sabres: +1.5 (-240)

Washington Capitals: -1.5 (+195)

Over: 6.5 (-132)

Under: 6.5 (+108)

How To Watch Sabres vs. Capitals

TV: NBC Sports Washington/ESPN+


Time: 7:00 ET/ 4:00 PT

*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*

Why The Sabres Could Cover The Spread

Buffalo has been a confounding team at times this year, and their most recent stretch of games highlights that. They have wins over Tampa Bay and Toronto, two of the best teams in their division. They have also put up offensive fireworks, with a five, six, and seven-goal output in their last 11 games. At the same time, they have lost big, giving up 10 goals to Dallas and seven to Boston in that same time span. Offensively, Buffalo is one of the best in the league, averaging 3.65 goals per game, which is good for 3rd in the NHL. Their 11.3% shooting percentage is 3rd in the NHL. Their Power Play has been dangerous, with a 25.4% conversion rate, good for fourth in the NHL.

At the same time, the defensive side has been bad. On the penalty kill they are 30th in the NHL at a 72.9% kill rate. Giving up 3.61 goals per game is 26th in the NHL, and they have also given up the 26th most shots in the NHL this season. Goalie play has been bad, with a save percentage that is the eighth worst in the NHL this year. This team is one that has to outscore the other team in order to get the win.

Buffalo has the players to outscore other teams though. Tage Thompson is tied for fifth in the NHL with 87 points on the season. His 42 goals on the season makes him sixth in the league, and having 18 of those on the Power Play is tied for third. Beyond Thompson, Buffalo has four other guys who have put in over 20 goals in Tuch, Skinner, Cozens, and Olofsson. Four of their players rank top 50 in the NHL in points, with Cozen just outside with his 57 points this year. This team has the firepower to generate more scoring opportunities than they give up, but inconsistencies have hurt them all year long.

Why The Capitals Could Cover The Spread

The Capitals are a mix of aging stars and new blood finding their way in the NHL. They are the epitome of a middle-of-the-pack team. On offense, they rank 19th in the NHL at 3.09 goals per game. They are 20th in the NHL in Power Play percentage, tied for 16th in total shots, and 18th in shot percentage. Ovi is their top-scoring option, sitting 42nd in points, and their only player in the top 50. Only Kuznetsov joins Ovechkin in the top 100 in points this year. Ovechkin is still an elite scorer, sitting tied for 11th in goals, but with only two players in the top 100 is assists, there are not many guys on the ice to set him up to put one in the back of the net.

One the defensive end of the ice, it is more of the middle of the road. They are 13th in goals against average on the season, 20th in shots given up, and 12th in save percentage. The combination of Charlie Lindgren and Darcy Kemper in goal has been solid for the caps. They are 19th and 20th respectively in goals against average. Kemper is tied for the league lead in shutouts this year with five, but he does have off days, with 13 games giving up four or more goals, including two games where he has given up five goals. Both of those have come against Buffalo.

Final Sabres-Capitals Prediction & Pick

Team Corsi Percentage rates the percentage of shot attempts for a team against the percentage of shot attempts they give up. Both teams sit just over the 50% marker, with Buffalo ranking 10th in the NHL and Washington ranking 17th. Buffalo produces more chances on average, and in a game with a middle-of-the-road team like Washington, that could be the difference. If Buffalo is on, they will easily outscore Washington. They have already done that twice this year and should be able to do so again, so it may be worth taking Buffalo on the moneyline at +100.

Final Sabres-Capitals Prediction & Pick: Buffalo +1.5 (-240)