The Buffalo Sabres are heading into a pivotal (and tough) trio of matchups for Week 7, including two teams they already lost to.
The Buffalo Sabres have a tough week coming up, as they are already quite familiar with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. Buffalo has a combined 0-2-0 record against the aforementioned teams this season, but their first opponent this week, the Washington Capitals, rarely allow pucks in the net.
Therefore, it won’t be easy, but that won’t stop us from getting excited for Week 7 as the first quarter of the long 2023-24 season nears its end. So how are the bold predictions for the Blue and Gold shaping up this week?
Buffalo Sabres could avenge a pair of losses in Week 7
1 – Sabres avenge earlier loss to Penguins in a convincing win
When the Sabres lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a recent matchup, it wasn’t necessarily because the Pens outplayed them. Instead, the Blue and Gold looked like a sluggish bunch for 60 minutes and ended up shutting themselves out.
This time around, Buffalo will have their Week 7 home matchup vs. the Penguins circled in red, looking to prove they weren’t the pushover that skated into Pittsburgh. It won’t be an easy win as the league’s youngest team lines up against arguably the NHL’s most experienced group, but a gritty, 3-2 effort will be enough in this one.
2 – Goaltender X records a 0.950 save percentage against Capitals
Let’s roll with Goaltender X because at the time of this writing, we have no idea of whether it will be Eric Comrie, Devon Levi, or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen taking charge here. Regardless, the goaltender should have no excuse for putting together an elite performance against a team that has struggled to find the back of the net.
In 15 games, the Washington Capitals have averaged just 2.47 goals per game, putting them at 31st in the league. The Sabres haven’t fared much better at 2.83 per, but it could be enough to squeak out a win when one of Buffalo’s three goaltenders enjoys a stellar outing.
3 – Sabres light up scoreboard against Devils
Hey, the Buffalo Sabres are not alone in their struggles. Other preseason favorites to earn a playoff spot include the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils, and they both sit at just 17 points as of Monday.
One reason for Jersey’s struggles is the fact that they can’t seem to stop anyone from scoring nearly four goals per game on average. In this one, the Sabres stop passing, and start shooting the puck, recording more shots surrounding the crease than they did against Winnipeg this past week, and end up scoring five. Hopefully, it’s enough to win the game and finally avenge that loss late last season.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)