#51 Florida Panthersvs.#52 New Jersey Devils
Written by David Hess
Florida Panthers (17-16-3-5 SU, 17-24 PL, 16-19-6 O/U) vs New Jersey Devils (16-17-6-2 SU, 24-17 PL, 15-15-11 O/U)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, January 9, 2017
Where: Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
Lines: New Jersey -125/Florida +110
NHL Hockey action on Monday night and the Florida Panthers will brawl with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers come in off a 4-0 home loss at the hands of the Bruins, while the Devils check in off a 2-1 home loss in OT to the Oilers. The home team has taken 16 of the last 21 games in the series.
The Florida Panthers continue to struggle this year as they have now gone just 2-6 in their last eight games following a 4-0 home loss to the Bruins on Saturday night. The Panthers are now just 10-11 on the year at home, including just 1-6 in their last seven here at BB&T Center. The loss was the 3rd time this year that they have been shutout. The offense really has been an issue for this team all year so far and especially of late as they have averaged just 1.75 gpg over their last eight games and now they have to try and get back on track vs Cory Schneider, who has been a bit hot of late. Leading the panthers in scoring this year has been Jonathan Marchessault, who has 12 goals, while 2nd is Vincent Trocheck with 11 and 3rd is Aleksander Barkov, who has nine. No one else on the team has more than seven goals on the year.
Taking the loss against the Bruins was James Reimer, who is now 6-9 with a 2.59 GAA on the year, including 4-5 with a 2.55 GAA on the road, while vs the Devils in his career he has gone 6-5 with a 2.51 GAA. He May get the start here as Roberto Luongo is listed as questionable and has missed the last two games. If Luongo does go, then we not that he is 11-15 with a 2.58 GAA on the year, including 3-8 with a 2.73 GAA on the road, while vs the Devils in his career he has gone 11-16 with a 2.86 GAA. Florida comes in ranked 27th in the league in scoring at 2.24 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (32.0 spg) and 24th in power play conversions, converting on 14.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 14th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.63 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (31.1) and 6th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 15.2% of their chances.
The New Jersey Devils have been a horrible team on the road this year, but they have had good success at home. Well they didn’t have good success on Saturday night as they fell 2-1 at home to the Oilers in OT. They have now lost four of their last five games here at home, but are still 10-8 at home for the year, compared to just 6-17 on the road. Scoring in the loss to the Oilers was Miles Wood, which was his 5th of the year and it came at the 9:44 mark of the first period. After that, they could not get anything going on offense. That offense for New Jersey has now averaged just 1.75 gpg over their last 16 games and if they can’t get the offense turned around soon, then they will completely fall out of playoff contention. This devils team is really in trouble right now.
Absorbing the loss to the Oilers was Cory Schneider, who has gone 12-19 with a 2.78 GAA on the year, including 10-5 with a 2.42 GAA here at home, while vs the Panthers in his career he has gone 4-5 with a 2.47 GAA. New Jersey enters this contest ranked 28th in the league in scoring at 2.24 gpg, while also ranking 29th in shots taken (27.4 spg) and 29th in power play conversions, converting on 12.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they are not very good as they come in ranked 22nd in goals allowed, giving up 2.90 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots allowed (31.3) and 13th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.7 of their chances.
New Jersey is:
Both teams are struggling at the moment, especially on offense. The Devils have played far better at home than on the road and they have been starting to get some better play in the crease of late. Cory Schneider has solid numbers at home and he should be able to hold down a bad Florida offense. On the other side we have Luongo or Reimer in the crease and while both have struggled this year, one of them will be taking on a New Jersey offense that has averaged just 1.75 gpg over their last 16 games. Take the Under in this game.
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