Best NHL Matchup of the Week and Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres

The best game in the NHL this week is a showdown between the two top teams in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Buffalo Sabres in a battle of the two teams running away from the pack in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning were supposed to be the team to beat this season, but the Sabres are proving that they are a real contender this season.

The Sabres enter this week having won nine straight games after a mediocre start to the season. Buffalo has passed by the Lightning as of Sunday, but this could change before gametime. The Lightning have been very consistent this season, and look poised to make another deep playoff run this season. Buffalo won the only matchup between the two teams so far this season.

Lightning Offense Is Explosive

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a veteran roster, and they have offensive weapons all over the ice. The Lightning lead the NHL with 3.74 goals per game this season, and they can score goals in a hurry. Tampa Bay has converted on 27.7 percent of their power play chances this season, and the Sabres must limit penalties if they want to win this game. The Lightning offense will be even harder to deal with at home on Thursday night.

Center Brayden Point has emerged as the top goal scorer for the Lightning this season. Point has scored 15 goals to lead the team, and is the only Lightning player in double figures in goals scored. Right winger Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 21 assists and 30 points so far this season. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid in net, posting a 9-3-1 record and a goals against average of 2.29. The Lightning are a deep and complete team.

Sabres Refusing To Lose

When you look at the statistics, it is hard to understand how the Sabres have won nine straight games. Buffalo is a young and hungry team that has found ways to win late in games, and should be great for years to come. The Sabres have been great at limiting scoring chances for their opponents, and are giving up just 2.75 goals per game this season. Buffalo has killed off 82.6 percent of their penalties this season, which is top-five in the NHL.

Left winger Jeff Skinner has been one of the top goal scorers in the NHL this season, and leads the team with 18 goals scored. Center Jack Eichel leads the team with 23 assists and 28 points on the season. The Buffalo Sabres offense will need to put up some goals to keep up with the Lightning in this game.

Tampa Bay Wins Showdown

The Buffalo Sabres have been riding high of late, but playing the Lightning in Tampa Bay is one of the toughest tasks in the league. The Sabres have started to gain some recognition around the league, while the Lightning have long been considered a title contender.

This game could very well be a playoff preview in the Eastern Conference, and should be a terrific battle. Tampa Bay is too deep and too talented and they will beat the Sabres in this game. Bet the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Bet Now!