The Devils did what they needed to do last night to snap a dreadful ten-game losing streak. They have to pick up and head straight to Pittsburgh for a Friday night date with the Penguins. Nice way to get back on the wagon and look for a second straight victory, a possible momentum boost for the rest of the regular season.
They aren’t going to be looking at a playoff spot, but it could be a consolation for them to finish up strong. I don’t believe in anything carrying over into the next season, but it at least makes fans feel a little bit better. The Devils are going to need more than momentum to make something out of their 2017-18 campaign.
The Penguins have been making moves since Sidney Crosby has been on the block in Pittsburgh. It’s no different this season, with Crosby, along with Evgeni Malkin being major forces. Malkin, in particular, has been playing exceptional hockey. He’s scored 33 goals and 39 assists, to go along with a +/- rating of 18. Geno has already eclipsed his last four years of production.
There is no doubt that this team is armed and ready at getting another Stanley Cup. The Pens are going to have competition, however. They’re nevertheless going to be the favorite to win it all. Until the Capitals can prove they can handle the Penguins in the playoffs, there is no reason to think it’s going to be different this season.
Don’t get me wrong, the Caps have a very good team, and if they meet again, it’s going to come down to a play or two here and there. This is if they do in fact play, there are some other teams in the conference who might have something to say about all of that. An easy winner with the Devils pick yesterday, let’s look for another winning pick tonight in Pittsburgh.
New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick
The Flyers seemed to take the night off against the Devils after they beat the Penguins just the night before. Now the Devils will take on the Pens tonight in Pittsburgh. Note to the Devils though, this isn’t going to be nearly as easy as last night. We handicapped it perfectly, calling that the Flyers were going to play down to their competition. The Penguins can’t get too comfortable, but they should be able to handle the Devils this evening.
Pittsburgh have been a dangerous team at home, playing virtually unbeatable hockey. They boast a record of 27-4-2 at home, compared to the Devils who are 12-18-4 playing on the road. The Penguins will be looking for their fourth win in a row over the Devils. Pittsburgh have gone 13-3 against New Jersey in their last sixteen meetings in the Steel City.
Uncharacteristically, Pittsburgh are coming off two losses in a row. I was on the Devils yesterday and we pegged that one correctly. Tonight, though, I’m going in the opposite direction and expecting the Pens to easily handle the Devils. Our Devils vs. Penguins pick is on the pens.
PICK: PENGUINS -1.5 (-105)