NHL Picks – Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres

By Betmaker Team

The Buffalo Sabres have not made the playoffs since the 2010-11 season, and they haven’t won a playoff series since 2007. Buffalo has had six head coaches since Lindy Ruff took them to the postseason, but at long last it might be time to make a return to the playoffs. The Sabres are making the most out of the package they received from the Vegas Golden Knights for former star Jack Eichel, and that has this team just a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a little over two months remaining in the regular season. They would love to beat the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night to close the gap, but Carolina is one of the best teams in the NHL.


We will see the Buffalo Sabres take on the Carolina Hurricanes for the second time this season on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Carolina won the first meeting between these teams back on November 4, and the Hurricanes are favored again by the NHL betting odds despite being on the road. This game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.


Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook

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Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres Preview


The best team in the Metropolitan Division is the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina is currently 32-9-8, and the Hurricanes are 16-4-6 on the road this season. They don’t score a ton of goals, but they are rock solid on defense, and that should lead to a fifth straight playoff appearance.


Martin Necas is having a breakout season. The 2017 first-round pick is in his sixth season with Carolina, and he has never tallied more than 41 points prior to this year. Necas has 45 points in 49 games this year though to lead the team, and he has tickled the time at least 20 times for the first time in his career too. That has led to him being on the first line for the power play unit, increasing his productivity.



Sebastian Aho continues to play at a high level. Aho is right behind Necas with 44 points on the year, and he has 20+ goals for the seventh straight season. He is an excellent two-way player that helps out considerably on defense, and he should be more of a household name.


Now that Jordan Staal is 34 years old, he is no longer the offensive threat he once was in his younger days. However, he is an excellent backchecking center. The other point scorer to watch for the Hurricanes is Andri Svechnikov. No one else on the team has more than 10 goals aside from those four players, so that’s mainly what Buffalo needs to watch out for on Wednesday night.


Tage Thompson is having an awesome season for Buffalo. Thompson had a breakout 2021-22 campaign for the Sabres, scoring 38 goals and 30 assists after totaling 35 points during his first four seasons in the league. He has shown that he is here to stay among the game’s elites, and that last season was no fluke.


Buffalo has three other players with 20+ goals at this point. Former Carolina Hurricane Jeff Skinner is one of the three, as he has 20 goals and 30 assists. The other two are Alexander Tuch and Victor Olofsson. Tuch came over in the Eichel trade, and he has been a very nice addition to the squad. Olofsson has been a goal scoring machine with 23 goals, but he only has six assists.


The big concern for Buffalo is the lack of a quality goaltender. Buffalo has a cumulative 3.35 GAA this season and a .902 save percentage. Incredibly, the top performer has been soon-to-be 42-year-old Craig Anderson who is 8-6-2 with a 2.73 GAA and a .918 save percentage.


Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres Prediction


The Sabres have won five of their last six games, and they will have a rest advantage before this tilt. Buffalo will have two days off before playing Carolina, while the Hurricanes must play the LA Kings on Tuesday night. That puts the Hurricanes in a tough spot and makes Buffalo a nice pick at an enticing NHL betting line price.