It was a small NHL schedule last night and I had just one pick go out, however we took an L on that one between the Blue Jackets and Kings from L.A.
The Kings led 1-0 after one period and my Kings moneyline pick at -107 was looking solid. That said, it was mostly all Blue Jackets from there as they scored the next three goals to take a lead they would not surrender in an eventual 4-2 victory.
I’ll shrug that one off and look ahead to tonight’s busy 12-game NHL schedule!
Season Record: 67-57-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Islanders vs. Devils from New Jersey!
Islanders vs. Devils Betting Odds
- Islanders (-116)
- Devils (+105)
- Islanders -1.5 (+215)
- Devils +1.5 (-255)
- Over 5.5 (+109)
- Under 5.5 (-120)
Islanders vs. Devils NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before getting into my final pick!
Tonight marks the second game in as many nights for the Islanders as they played a tight affair with the Avalanche last night on home ice, but came out on top with a 1-0 win.
The win snapped a mini two-game losing streak, but it was also just their third win over their last eight games as their offense has really been cooled off of late.
Over their last three games, the Isles have scored just two goals, total.
That includes a 2-1 loss to these Devils last week before going into Toronto and getting shut out by the Maple Leafs. Tough to win when you don’t score.
However, their defense remains stout and will be the driving force in whatever success they end up enjoying this season.
The Islanders enter this one tied with the Bruins with just 2.50 goals against per game on the road this season where their penalty kill ranks eighth with an 82.1% mark on the season.
Offensively, however, they’ve been quieted.
Their 2.45 goals per game away from home has them ranked 24th league wide while their 17.6% mark on the power play on the road checks in at 17th.
After Semyon Varlamov got the shutout in last night’s home win, it will be Thomas Greiss going for the road side tonight and looking to find his game after struggling big-time in two of his last three starts.
Greiss allowed fie goals on just 15 shots in an 8-3 loss to the Predators back on the 17th of December and allowed three goals on just 11 shots in his most recent outing that came on December 27th.
As a result, the back-and-forth between himself and Varlamov has ended as Greiss has been the backup for each of the last five games.
Still, he’s still sporting excellent numbers on the season in the form of a 2.58 GAA and .919 Sv% across 18 starts and 19 appearances while he’s posted a 2.93 GAA and .915 S% on the road across nine starts.
The Devils have picked up a little steam in winning three of their last four and four of their last six, however they’re coming off a 5-2 home loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.
Their home woes continue as they’ve dropped three of their last four at the Prudential Center and are just 6-9-6 on home ice this season.
It’s not really hard to see why they own such a record on home ice.
They’ll enter this one tied for 25th with 2.81 goals per game at home, but the bigger issue has been their 29th-ranked home defense where they’ve allowed 3.43 goals per game.
The Devils actually own a positive average shot differential at home but have failed to get consistent goaltending there as well.
The goaltending tonight will be up to Mackenzie Blackwood after he was questionable to start due to an illness.
Blackwood has been good of late in posting a 2.63 GAA and .914 Sv% over a six-outing span, but allowed four goals on 33 shots (.879 Sv%) in the loss to the Avalanche on Saturday.
The young netminder will enter this one sporting a 2.83 GAA and .908 S% on the season – solid numbers considering the team he plays behind – but he’s slipped to a 2.92 GAA and .895 Sv% at home where he’s gone just 5-7-5 on the season in 16 starts and 17 appearances.
Nonetheless, he’ll need some goal support tonight and that’s been tough to come by.
The Devils have scored just two goals in each of their last two games and two regulation goals in each of their last three after a stretch where they scored at least four goals in three straight.
Perhaps the injury bug has gotten to them as both Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt will again be out of the lineup for this one tonight representing two of their better offensive pieces after the Taylor Hall trade.
Needless to say, it’s going to be difficult for a thinned-out Devils offense to produce against this stout Islanders back end.
The Devils played well in New York against the Islanders just two games ago, winning that one as huge +190 underdogs.
However, I think retribution is in the cards tonight and I find the Islanders -116 odds rather attractive for this one.
Let’s be honest. The Islanders are the far superior team as they sit 19 points ahead of the Devils in the standings and their 12-7-1 road record is far superior to New Jersey’s 6-9-6 mark.
Another way to look at that – since we’re talking about the moneyline here – is that the Islanders have won 12 of their 20 games on the road while the Devils have won just six of their 19 games at home. Not good.
The Islanders offense does come in cold, but they may not need too many goals tonight considering how good their defense is and how poor the Devils offense is while New Jersey is missing those two key contributors.
I’m not going to overthink this one. I’m simply going to take the superior club on the moneyline tonight to go win their second game in as many nights.