Just when it looked like the Vegas Golden Knights might hit a snag and regress, they bounce back in win three games in a row on the road. People were taking a close look at them after they dropped four of five games. Could this finally be it where they collapse and head into the playoffs in a dive? Not so fast. The Knights have won three in a row and have erased their mini-slide. Most impressive of all is that all of the wins came on the road. Vegas have beginning to show that they aren’t only a team who can take advantage of their home ice advantage in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights have been winning hockey games on the road of late, as they’ve brought their road record to 21-12-2. Not as good at home with a record of 24-7-1, but they are silencing doubters who thought they could just win on the road. In any event, having home ice advantage in their possession is going to be a dangerous weapon. As it stands currently, the Knights will have it easily with their record of 45-19-5. The only team they’d fail to have home ice over are the Nashville Predators, who currently have 90 points.
The Knights defeated the Red Wings, Sabres, and Flyers in their last three contests. Before the short trip on the road, the Golden Knights fell to the Kings and Senators at home. It was a couple of rare losses in winnable games, especially against the Sens who have been a mess this year. The Knights should to cruise into the playoffs, but the same cannot be said for the Devils. The Devils are 3 points up on the Panthers for the final wild card. They have to treat just about every game like a playoff game the rest of the way in the regular season. If the playoffs started today, they’d face a tall order against Predators. Head below for our free Devils vs. Golden Knights pick.
N.J. Devils vs. Vegas Golden Knights Pick
For the Devils just to get into the playoffs it’d be an accomplishment for them this season. There wouldn’t be any pressure on them against the Predators, as all of the expectations of going deep in the playoffs will be on the Preds. It’s Stanley Cup or bust, while the Devils will be content with the playoffs. The Devils have won two of their last six games and four of their last ten, so it hasn’t been the smoothest sailing for them. Nevertheless, they’ve been steady with a record of 35-26-4. Considering where they’ve been the past several years, nothing wrong with that. The addition of Taylor Hall did provide some lift in New Jersey.
Hall has scored 30 goals and 44 assists, as he’s really developed away from Edmonton. During the latter portion of his career, Hall really didn’t want to be there. He’s found a nice fit in New Jersey, though, as he’s played the best hockey of his career as a Devil. Overall, the Devils are 14th in the NHL with 2.88 goals per game. They’re average on defence as well, 19th with 2.96 goals allowed per game. The Knights have of course shattered all expectations, posting 3.37 goals per game for 2nd in the league. The number in this game is out of hand, in my opinion, though. You would need to lay -200 on Vegas here, which seems a little farfetched against a decent team with something to play for. Also, top-liner Reilly Smith continues to nurse an injury. The Golden Knights aren’t invincible, especially without one of their best forwards, and I believe the Devils have more than a +165 shot at pulling this one out.
PICK: DEVILS (+165)