The New Jersey Devils had a big effort against the Chicago Blackhawks last night, as they were backed by a terrific scoring surge from their offence. There wasn’t much defence from either side, but it didn’t matter with 8 goals on the board for the Devils. Blake Coleman and Kyle Palmeri lead the offensive output for the Devils with 2 goals each.
A nice night for the Devils, and while it was an impressive effort from the offence, there are still concerns with their defensive effort. They can’t bank on scoring that many goals every night. 4 goals wouldn’t have been enough, which is above their average this season. Their inconsistent goaltending and defensive situation has been consistently bad.
There isn’t time to rest and ponder on their effort last night, though. They get a quick turnaround on a trip to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. The Jackets are on a nice little run with three straight wins. Their latest came on Sunday against the New York Rangers by a score of 7-5. We were able to cash in on the OVER in that contest and hopefully can find another winning pick in a Columbus game on Tuesday evening.
With the win, the Jackets moved to 27-15-2 on the season. They are just 2 points behind the Capitals in the Metropolitan. The Capitals lost last night and will be sitting out tonight, so the Jackets have a chance to jump into a tie for the divisional lead. It looked like the Capitals were going to run away with it, but they’ve mellowed out lately and slowed down considerably since catching fire in December. Head below for our free Devils vs. Blue Jackets pick in the NHL for Tuesday in Columbus.
New Jersey Devils vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Devils are far behind in the division, but tend to show up here and there like they did last night against the Blackhawks. However, the Blackhawks are paper thin and have been getting bulldozed by almost everyone in the league. It’s not the greatest thing to be proud about, especially after allowing 5 goals. Mackenzie Blackwood allowed 5 goals on 32 shots to finish with a 0.84 save percentage.
The rookie has been the best option the Devils have had to put between the pipes, though. Despite the rough outing, he’s looked like a Vezina candidate compared to Kinkaid and Schneider. Kinkaid is likely to get the call in net for the Devils tonight. He owns a 3.07 GAA and 0.89 save percentage in 33 appearances. Cory Schneider has been on the IR with an abdominal strain since the middle of December. It’s probably for the better that he stays away.
Struggling on the road has become an urgent issue for the Devils. They seemingly turn into a team that doesn’t want to play when they get out of Newark. If they played all of their games at home, they’d be in the playoffs comfortably. While they’re solid at home, 12-5-4, the road has been a mess with a mark of 5-15-1. And with that, they are the worst road team in the league. Even the Senators have more than 5 wins. They’ve scored 2.61 goals per game, while allowing an average of 3.87 goals.
Conversely, the Blue Jackets are averaging 3.48 goals per game and allowing 3.13 per game. They’ve also found success against the Devils, with a record of 14-3 in their previous 17 meetings, as well as a record of 6-2 in their last eight meetings in Columbus. After pouring it on last night, expect a bit of regression from the New Jersey offence. It’s unlikely they can duplicate anything close to that again on a back-to-back. Give me the Blue Jackets to take a 4-2 or 5-3 game on Tuesday.