NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Devils vs. Penguins (Feb. 24)
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins host the New Jersey Devils in tonight’s NHL action.
- The Penguins, who are big -330 moneyline favorites, should have their way with the underdogs, according our analyst.
- Check out why he expects Pittsburgh to rout its Eastern Conference foes below.
Devils vs. Penguins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins are well rested ahead of Thursday’s NHL game, which will mark their second clash in the past 11 days.
The Penguins got the best of New Jersey in their last meeting, picking up a 4-2 road victory. That said, the Devils will try to get their revenge at PPG Paints Arena in this latest showdown.
New Jersey Trying to Solve Road Issues
The Devils are 7-15-2 on the road this season, currently sitting in last place in the Metropolitan Division.
On a positive note, Dougie Hamilton is ready to make his return to the lineup. The Devils’ big offseason signing has only played in 30 games this season, contributing seven goals and 13 assists. Hamilton’s defensive presence on the back end makes a huge difference and there is no doubt that he was missed.
New Jersey’s offense has been clicking of late, but it’s struggling to keep pucks out of its own net. In their last three games, the Devils have allowed 14 goals. Jon Gillies was New Jersey’s starting goaltender in all three of these contests and is expected to be the starter again. If they don’t go with Gillies, they will likely play Nico Daws, who came made an appearance in the last game after New Jersey took out Gillies.
Daws is 1-1-0 on the season, holding a .862 save percentage and a -1.3 Goals Saved Above Expected average. He hasn’t had much NHL experience, but the Devils don’t have anything to lose.
Offensively, New Jersey has recently been solid. The franchise has scored 19 goals in their last four games, but they haven’t played a game in eight days so it might have lost some of its offensive mojo during the break.
Pittsburgh Pursuing Carolina in Division Race
The Penguins are only four points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan. They’re currently on a two-game skid, but New Jersey is the perfect opponent to help get them back in the win column.
Pittsburgh is 31-13-8 this season and gotten everything it has needed from its big guns. Jake Guentzel is leading the way with 52 points, with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang right behind with 47 points apiece. Evgeni Malkin joined the team recently and has contributed 17 points in 16 games. The Penguins currently have the 10th-best offense, as they’re averaging 3.29 goals per game on 34.8 shots on goal.
As good as the big guns have been, the guy who has stolen the show this year is goaltender Tristan Jarry. He’s been fantastic, rolling to a 25-10-6 with a .922 save percentage and a +13.4 GSAx this season. Jarry hasn’t looked his best in his last two starts, allowing eight goals on a combined 59 shots, but has been able to bounce back all year and should do that against the Devils.
Devils vs. Penguins Pick
Despite the excitement surrounding Hamilton’s return, I don’t see the Devils putting together a strong performance after having eight days of rest. Sometimes that can be a disadvantage when it’s longer than three days, due to the fact it takes some time to get back in a rhythm.
Pittsburgh has been so consistent and it is rare it loses three games in a row. That said, the Penguins should come out flying right from the opening puck drop. Their offense is very reliable, as is Jarry in goal.
Pittsburgh is a heavy favorite, but it has been great on home ice all year and now face a weak road opponent. Give me the Penguins puck line all day long.
Pick: Pittsburgh -1.5 (-140)