The Vegas Golden Knights stay in the area following a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers at MSG last night. They will make the short trip to New Jersey for a matchup against the stumbling Devils. The Golden Knights will play two more games on the road before flying home to welcome the Rangers on Sunday. Their next stop will be in Newark and then a battle with the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.
They face a Devils team tonight who are coming off a humiliating loss. It had to be one of the worst efforts out of the Devils this season and possibly years. They’ve hit some low points this season, but a 7-1 loss against the Sabres in Buffalo was the lowest of lows. This is a team who went from a potential dark horse in the Stanley Cup race to a dumpster fire in less than two months.Louis Domingue went into the game as the starting netminder and lasted just a period of play.
He was hammered for 5 goals on 15 shots to finish for a shaky 0.667 save percentage. MacKenzie Blackwood entered the game to allow 2 goals on 17 shots. He provided a better effort between the pipes, but the game was well out of hand at that point. There’s no telling what the final score would have been if John Hynes allowed Domingue to stay in the game. Cory Schneider recently got demoted to the AHL, but he will likely be called back up soon if Domingue has another poor showing.
Blackwood is scheduled to be back out on the ice tonight. The extra workload shouldn’t bother the 22-year-old. It can’t get any worse than what happened last night for the Devils, but if they put forth a similar effort, head coach John Hynes seat is going to be on fire. It’s unlikely he can survive for much longer if his team isn’t trying. There is a plethora of talent on the Devils that is currently going to waste.
It wasn’t completely outlandish to project the Devils as a dark horse contender in the Eastern Conference this season given their talent. They even made a splash by acquiring P.K. Subban. Hynes hasn’t been able to get the most out of this team, though. After the beatdown last night, they enter Tuesday with a record of 9-13-4 and 22 points. The Capitals with 43 points are just a point away from doubling the Devils up. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Devils pick.
NHL Awards Odds, Predictions and Value Picks
Vegas Golden Knights vs. N.J. Devils Betting Odds:
Golden Knights vs. Devils Prediction:
The Devils did generate 45 shots on the Sabres last night. That is one positive to find out of the mess in Buffalo. However, a lot of their shots were harmless and didn’t come as Grade A scoring chances. Nico Hischier was the only Devil to score a goal and the game was well over at that point. The loss was the Devils third in their previous four tilts. A 6-4 win over the struggling Canadiens has been their only win since a 5-1 win over the Red Wings on November 23rd. The Devils are winners in four of their last ten games. That doesn’t sound great, but fortunately, they will be able to get right back out on the ice tonight without having time to think about the 7-1 loss.
They will be dealing with a Golden Knights team who are on a back-to-back as well. Vegas has been one of the biggest money burners in the NHL this season, but they cashed in against the Rangers last night. Assuming every play is for 1 unit, the Golden Knights rank in the bottom-5 in the league in ROI. Oddsmakers have been overpricing them all season and they don’t seem ready to stop now. While the Devils had an embarrassing showing in Buffalo, this isn’t a team that the Golden Knights can mess around with. They’ve taken a split against the Devils in four games with wins of 3-2 and losses of 8-3 and 5-4. New Jersey has given them a good game in each matchup.
The Golden Knights are on a three-game winning streak, with two of those wins coming in extra time. The first of three wins was a thriller against the Predators, but they were less than a second away from losing before Max Pacioretty netted the tying goal with 0.2 seconds on the clock in regulation. They needed a shootout to down the Coyotes in their next outing. Road games haven’t been too great for the Knights, so last night was an exception. They have been average with a record of 7-6-1 and have scored only 2.54 goals per game on the road.
Marc-Andre Fleury may or may not return for the Golden Knights tonight. He’s spent time away from the team to be with his family following the death of his father. They expect him to return during the road trip, but nothing has been confirmed as of this morning and the Knights have a game tonight. With Malcolm Subban playing last night, former Maple Leaf Garret Sparks would likely get the nod if Fleury isn’t back. Sparks has appeared in one game with Vegas, having posted a 4.38 GAA and 0.857 save percentage. The Devils obviously look like a stronger play if Fleury is out again.
I do think the Golden Knights are being overpriced once again here. It’s understandable that people will be shy to play the Devils after last night, but you have to expect them to come out with some pride to get that dirty taste out of their mouths. If they come out flat after getting shellacked like that, Hynes might want to think about contacting his realtor in New Jersey soon. However, I think the Devils are the more attractive option at this price. The Knights could very well take the Devils lightly after an easy win in NYC last night. At -140, I’m certainly not running to the window to play Vegas. Consider a value play on the home dog in Newark on Tuesday night.