To say Pettersson is a game changer for this organization is an understatement. He was selected by the Canucks with the No. 5 pick in the 2017 draft, and in his rookie year, leads the Canucks AND ALL league rookies with 42 points in 38 games. Vancouver has just one win in five games with him out of the lineup.
Sabres vs Canucks Betting Analysis
This is the second meeting between these two clubs this season, with their first game in November going to the Sabres in a shootout. Goals from Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart tied the game and Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt scored in the shootout to beat Vancouver 4-3. Loui Eriksson had a goal and an assist, with additional goals by Jake Virtanen and Erik Gudbranson. Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 shots in that matchup.
The Canucks are now two points behind the Wild for the second wild card in the West. A win in Vancouver on Friday would get Buffalo the two points they need to move into a playoff spot with a game in hand, and give them some nice momentum heading into the All-Star break.
On Monday night, the Sabres were absolutely clobbered by the Edmonton Oilers, dropping that game 7-2. They needed a win as soon as possible after that meltdown and they got it, in dramatic fashion, against one of the best teams in the league on Wednesday. After they managed to force overtime with the Flames, in Calgary, team captain Jack Eichel was the hero of the night for the Sabres, netting the OT goal just minutes into the overtime. Eichel leads his team with 51 points from 16 goals and 35 assists.
Like Vancouver, Buffalo isn’t without it’s own player drama this week. Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu has requested a trade from the team, as he is in the final year of his contract and has seen less ice time than he’d like. Beaulieu has three goals and seven points in 26 games this season.
On Wednesday night, the Canucks lost against the visiting Oilers 3-2 in a shootout. The takeaway from that game, as has been the takeaway with Vancouver for the past two weeks, is that they are sorely missing Elias Pettersson. The youngster, who leads the team in scoring, sprained his knee two weeks ago in a game against the Habs. He skated with the team before the game against the Oilers, so the club is hopeful that he could return for the game against the Sabres this Friday.
Vancouver made a trade this week with Anaheim, giving Michael Del Zotto to the Ducks for a seventh-round pick and Luke Schenn, who is headed straight to the Utica Comets. Schenn has spent most of the last season with the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego.