Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers Game Preview and Prediction 2/24/2023

Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers Game Preview and Prediction 2/24/2023


Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers Game Preview and Prediction 2/24/2023


Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Buffalo concludes its back-to-back in the state of Florida with a stop in Sunrise to face the Panthers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. EST.

The Sabres bring a 29-23-4 record (62 points) into tonight’s game and sit sixth in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo is two points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, behind the Detroit Red Wings and Florida. The Sabres also sit one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and are tied with the Washington Capitals. Buffalo is led offensively by Tage Thompson. The center has notched a team-leading 39 goals and 75 points thus far. Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch follow behind with 62 and 61 points respectively. Tuch also sits second on the team in goals with 27 while Victor Olofsson has tallied 23. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been the first option for Buffalo recently. The 23-year-old is 14-8-2 with a 3.55 goals against average and an .894 save percentage in 24 games. 

The Panthers enter tonight with a 29-25-6 record (62 points) and sit fifth in the Atlantic. Florida sits just out of the second wild card spot in the East as they are level with Detroit on points but have played three more games. The Panthers have played four more games than Buffalo, but are only two points ahead. Carter Verhaeghe’s career year continues as the forward has tallied an even 30 goals thus far. Matthew Tkachuk follows close behind with 28 goals, while Sam Reinhart has potted 21. Tkachuk leads the team in points by a wide margin with 78 compared to Verhaeghe’s 52 and Aleksander Barkov’s 50. Sergei Bobrovsky will likely get the nod between the pipes tonight. The 34-year-old is 17-15-2 with a 3.12 GAA and a .902 SV% in 37 games.

Florida has won six straight games against the Sabres including the first two meetings this season. Tonight’s projected starting goaltenders are Luukkonen for Buffalo and Bobrovsky for Florida.


Prediction: Florida 6, Buffalo 4

This game could truly go either way tonight, but I see the Panthers taking it at home. Florida is also better rested, as the Sabres played an overtime game in Tampa Bay last night. Expect fireworks early and often here, and whichever goaltender makes the big save will likely see his team win.

Odds Presented By Betfred Sportsbook 

Spread – Buffalo Sabres +1.5 (-140) / Florida Panthers -1.5 (+120)

Moneyline – Buffalo Sabres +170 / Florida Panthers -200

Total – 7.0 – Over (-115) / Under (-105)

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