Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#55 New Jersey Devils 6.5 vs.
#56 Edmonton Oilers -165
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 9:05pm EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The New Jersey Devils will travel on the road to the Rogers Place on Friday evening for a tough early-season clas versus the Edmonton Oilers.

The Devils enter this matchup at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings after compiling only 12 points through their first 13 games of the season. New Jersey will be playing this game on the second night of a back-to-back set after taking on the Flames in Calgary on Thursday. Meanwhile, this game will conclude a three-game homestand for Edmonton, which will play seven of their next time games on the road. The Oilers enter atop the Pacific Division standings with 22 points and a 10-5-2 overall record. After losing two in a row, can Edmonton get back on the winning track versus the Devils on Friday night?

McDavid tallies two points in loss

The Oilers snapped a three-game point streak on Wednesday night with a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist while Zack Kassian scored his fourth of the season for the Oilers, who remain one point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division race. Mike Smith stopped 20 of the 23 shots that he faced on the evening but has now allowed three goals or less in nine of his 10 starts this year.

After posting a career-high 28 goals last season, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has struggled in 17 games, scoring just one goal on 42 shots. Edmonton is hoping the veteran winger can breakthrough after failing to cash in on a couple of high-danger chances in recent games.

Special teams have been a major reason for the Oilers’ early-season surge. Edmonton has converted on 27.1 percent of their power-play opportunities, which ranks second in the NHL. They’ve also killed off 83.3 percent of their penalties -- good for 13th in the league.

Backup goaltender Mikko Koskinen is scheduled to be in net for the Oilers for the final game of their homestand on Friday night. Koskinen enters with a 5-1-1 overall record to go along with a 2.46 GAA and .917 save percentage in seven starts. He’s won each of his last five contests and allowed three goals or less in all seven his starts, including three overtime affairs. Koskinen struggled in his only start against the Devils last season, allowing four goals in 18 shots before getting pulled in the second period.

Schneider still looking for first win of the season

The Devils were unable to keep up with the Calgary on Thursday, losing 5-2 on the road against the Flames. Jack Hughes and Nikita Gusev both scored to give the Devils a 2-1 second period lead but they were ultimately undone by four unanswered goals by the Flames from that point on. Mackenzie Blackwood allowed five goals on 38 shots for the Devils, who snapped a two-game winning streak with the loss.

New Jersey comes in scoring only 2.85 goals per game (19th in the NHL) and allowing 3.69 goals per contest (29th in the NHL). They rank 23rd in the league on the power play, converting 14.8 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage, and they’ve killed off only 75.6 percent of their total penalties for the season (25th in the NHL).

New Jersey is expected to turn to 33-year-old goaltender Cory Schneider for Friday’s game against the Oilers. With Schneider playing at a replacement-level between the pipes, his contract has become a bit of a problem for the Devils. Schneider is 0-3-1 with a 4.71 GAA and .847 save percentage in five starts. Schneider beat Edmonton in his lone start against them last season, allowing three goals on 39 shots.

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Edmonton has suddenly lost back-to-back games but this seems like a good spot for them to bounce back here. They are catching the Devils, who have a Metropolitan Division-low 12 points in 13 games, on the second night of a back-to-back. Schneider has yet to win a game this season after posting a .847 save percentage and the Oilers’ have been excellent on special teams so far this year. Factor in New Jersey’s struggles on the penalty kill and the Oilers seem like the obvious pick here. Take Edmonton on the puck line in this matchup on Friday night. 

Prediction: Edmonton Oilers -1.5

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Not much has changed for Schneider this season, as the veteran goaltender’s GAA continues to rise and his save percentage continues to plummet for the Devils. New Jersey has also had its fair share of struggles on the penalty kill this season, which could be problematic for them on the second night of a back-to-back. Koskinen has been playing well but struggled against the Devils in his only start last season. Take this game to go over the projected total at the Rogers’ Place on Friday night.

Prediction: Over 6.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.