My cold drought this week reached three days as I dropped my only NHL pick from last night.
To be honest, I still feel it was the right pick as I had the Canadiens in regulation over the Blackhawks who were playing their second game in as many nights.
Both teams are desperate to climb back up the standings, but the Canadiens were rested and won two in a row to snap an eight-game winless skid. You would expect a big-time effort, instead Montreal was flat as a pancake throughout this one.
They allowed the first two goals of the game before getting to within one early in the second frame. However, it was downhill from there as the Blackhawks also netted the final two goals of the game in a 4-1 road win.
Disappointing effort to be sure for the Canadiens whose playoff hopes are fading by the day.
I’ll take that one on the chin and move onto a huge 13-game NHL schedule tonight!
Season Record: 77-66-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Devils vs. Capitals from Capital One Arena in Washington!
Devils vs. Capitals Betting Odds
- Devils (+260)
- Capitals (-320)
- Devils +1.5 (+105)
- Capitals -1.5 (-125)
- Over 6.5 (-120)
- Under 6.5 (+100)
Devils vs. Capitals NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before getting into my final pick!
The New Jersey Devils entered Tuesday matchup in Toronto have won each of their last two games by a combined 7-2 score. Whatever momentum they carried into that contest was blown to smithereens by the Maple Leafs who took a command 6-1 lead into the final half the third period, and while the Devils actually scored three quick ones, the 7-4 final doesn’t do justice to how thoroughly they were outplayed.
Now, the Devils head back to Washington where they stunned the Capitals with a 5-1 win just five days ago, the first of the two aforementioned wins.
However, in that win, the Devils were actually outshot heavily by a 34-22 count, but caught Capitals netminder Braden Holtby on an off night.
It was a rare offensive outburst for a team that ranks 25th with just 2.48 goals per game on the road this season while their 13% mark on the power play away from home checks in at 28th.
It was also a rare one-goal effort on defense for a team that sits in a three-way tie for 25th with 3.57 goals per game after yielding that seven-spot to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
While the Devils road penalty kill recently sat the top-half of the league, they now sit 21st with a 77.8% mark on the PK away from home after allowing two goals on four power plays against the Maple Leafs while posting a 68.6% mark in that department over their last four games.
With Mackenzie Blackwood still dealing with an injury, the Devils will go back to Louis Domingue tonight despite him getting blasted in Toronto on Tuesday.
Domingue entered that one in Toronto red-hot thanks to stopping 59 of the last 61 shots he had faced – good for a .967 Sv% – in winning two in a row, but was shelled for five goals on just 19 shots (.737 Sv%) before Cory Schneider took over midway through the second period.
Now, Domingue sports a 3.55 GAA and .884 SV% in eight NHL starts and 10 NHL appearances this season to go along with a brutal 4.93 GAA and .856 Sv% across five road starts and seven road appearances.
He’s allowed at least five goals in two of his last three full road games.
Needless to say, the Capitals will be in search of revenge tonight after taking that 5-1 loss as heavy home favorites last week.
Their offense remained quiet their following game on Monday against the Hurricanes, but still came away with a 2-0 win thanks to a shutout from sensational rookie Ilya Samsonov.
However, the Capitals have scored two goals or fewer in each of their last three games with just five total goals in that span.
They’ll enter this one ranked 11th with 3.39 goals per game at home this season where their power play has actually struggled for consistency with a 23rd-ranked 18.1% clip on the campaign.
After going 0 for 7 over a three-game stretch, the Caps’ man advantage has recorded a goal in each of their last two games.
Defensively, the Capitals sit just outside the top 10 at home at 12th with 2.74 goals against per game while their home penalty kill has been fabulous, sitting second with an 87.8% clip on the season.
That penalty kill has also been strong of late, going a perfect 7 for 7 over their last four games after going just 6 for 10 in a two-game stretch.
The Caps’ overall defense would probably look even better if Samsonov had received the bulk of the starts as he’s been fabulous at home this season and stellar wherever he’s played.
Entering this one tonight, the 22-year-old rookie has posted a 2.11 GAA and .925 Sv% in 15 starts and 17 appearances on the season to go along with a sparkling 13-2-1 record.
At home, Samsonov has been slightly better where he’s posted a 2.02 GAA and .931 Sv% while he’s been white-hot in the month of January with a 1.34 GAA and .956 Sv% in three starts including the aforementioned shutout of the Hurricanes his last time 0ut.
Samsonov allowed three goals on 27 shots in a 6-3 win over the Devils in New Jersey in his lone start against them this season.
The Capitals were embarrassed by the Devils on their own turf just five days ago, but I feel like revenge is coming in a big way tonight.
I mean, their offense isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders enter this one, but we know it’s one of the most explosive offenses in the league and a matchup with these Devils – and this goaltender – presents a wonderful opportunity to get back on track.
On top of the plethora of goals I am expecting for the home side, I’m also looking for the Devils’ offense to scuffle as they will be without their leading goal-scorer Kyle Palmieri for the foreseeable future and center Jack Hughes is coming off an illness that forced him out of the game in Toronto on Tuesday.
I just don’t like this game on either side for the Devils, and when we factor in their weak possession numbers on the road, I really don’t like this game for New Jersey.
You can bet the Capitals will be amped to avenge their loss last week to these guys and with the far superior goaltending in this one, I have no choice but to take the Capitals on the puckline here despite the rare -125 puckline odds.