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NHL Betting Preview for Tuesday March 22, 2011: Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens

Written by Charlie Jimenez   
Monday, 21 March 2011 22:38

Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting PicksBetting Online Overview
The intensity of the online March Madness betting in Buffalo is matched only by the desire of Sabres fans to see the Buffalo Sabres make the playoffs. Sabres fans are not watching the March Madness bracket predictions, they are glued to the NHL standings. The Sabres hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by three points over the Carolina Panthers. But Buffalo is having problems on defense and that means they are not able to put critical games away. The Sabres just lost a game 4-3 in overtime to the Nashville Predators which Buffalo lead all the way to the 50-minute mark of the game. The Sabres need to pick up the play on defense or else their playoff spot could be at risk.

The Montreal Canadiens are rolling right along in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Boston Bruins by only one point for the Northeastern Division lead, and the Habs are playing some very good hockey. The Canadiens received some more motivation when Max Pacioretty, the Canadiens’ player that was seriously injured on a check by Boston’s Zdeno Chara, is doing very well and could return to the team by the playoffs. It all adds up to a Montreal team that is ready to build some momentum for the playoffs.

Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres are 5-3-2 in the last 10 games, but they are a much better road team than a home team. At home, the Sabres are 16-16-4 while on the road they are 19-12-5. The season series between the Sabres and Canadiens is split in Montreal’s home building with each team winning one game. The Sabres are trying to put some distance between themselves and the Carolina Hurricanes while also trying to take seventh place in the Eastern Conference from the New York Rangers. It will be a tall order against this very good Montreal team.

Montreal Canadiens
The Canadiens are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and they are dominant at home with a 22-9-6 record. But this game presents an interesting problem for the Canadiens. Number one goalie Carey Price has an excellent career record against the Buffalo Sabres, but Price is 2-3-0 in his last five starts and was replaced by Alex Auld in the last two Canadiens’ games. Auld does not fare as well against the Sabres, so the Canadiens have to decide who will be in goal for this very important game. It could be the difference in whether the Canadiens win or lose.

The Bottom Line
The Sabres’ defense is just awful lately. A series of massive mental mistakes in the game against Nashville took a sure Sabres win and turned it into an overtime loss. The Canadiens have the speed to exploit the Sabres defensive lapses, and they will use it in this game. Rookie defenseman P.K. Subban just scored his first hat trick for the Canadiens, and he offers defensive speed that the Sabres may not be able to deal with.

BSN Sports Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens

 
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