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The New Jersey Devils will be trying to stay on the winning track when they visit the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday night. New Jersey had lost seven games in a row before beating Edmonton on Wednesday. The Canucks had lost five of their last six contests prior to Wednesday’s win over the Rangers.
Losing streak over
The Devils are struggling for the most part but have a chance to record back-to-back wins for the first time in a month. They halted a seven-game slide (0-6-1) with a 6-3 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday. This marks the fifth stop on a six-game road trip for New Jersey, which is tied with Ottawa for the fewest wins (nine) away from home in the entire NHL.
After struggling through a 15-game goal drought in which he was limited to only one assist, forward Blake Coleman has scored in each of the last three contests to push his season total to 21–second behind Kyle Palmieri. Rookie forward Kevin Rooney scored for the third time in six games and also delivered an assist for the first two-point performance of his career. Palmieri picked up an assists on the goal by Rooney to reach 50 points for the third time and move him with seven of his career high set in 2015-16. Defenseman Sami Vatanen and Miles Wood each had a goal and an assist in a New Year’s Eve victory over Vancouver
Canucks also going for two straight
The Canucks have gone nearly two months without posting back-to-back victories, a streak they can halt when they face another struggling team in the Devils on Friday. Vancouver had lost five of six (1-4-1) before cruising to a 4-1 victory over the York Rangers on Wednesday. It was only the fourth victory in 14 games (4-10-0) against Metropolitan Division opponents for Vancouver, which also will be looking to avenge a 4-0 loss at New Jersey on Dec. 31.
Forward Antoine Roussel will be sidelined for the rest of the season due to a knee injury that occurred after taking an elbow to the head from New York’s Brandon Lemieux. Roussel, who will not require surgery, contributed an assist in each of his last two games to finish the season with a career-high 31 points. Also on the injury front, rookie Quinn Hughes’ NHL debut will be delay after an MRI exam revealed that the 2018 No. 7 pick has a bone bruise in his right ankle and will be re-evaluated in a week.
The Vancouver Canucks are:
- 5-0 in their last five home games against teams with road winning percentages under .400
- 9-2 Under in their last 11 overall
- 5-1 Under in their last six home games
The New Jersey Devils are:
- 22-45 in their last 67 overall
- 20-45 in their last 65 road games
- 2-7 in their last nine games against the Western Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Devils finally found the win column earlier this week, but their sample size of success is small and it came at the expense of an unspectacular opponent. Vancouver forward Brock Boeser has scored in back-to-back contests to extend his point streak to four games. New Jersey goalie Mackenzie Blackwood gave up nine goals to Calgary on Tuesday. The Devils are 5-17 in their last 22 following a win, 1-5 in their last six against the Pacific Division, and 16-35 in their last 51 that are the third of a three games in four days situation.
Prediction: Vancouver Canucks
Full-Game Total Pick
Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom is 1-7-1 with a 2.91 goals-against average against New Jersey. The under is 5-1 in the Devils’ last six after scoring at least six goals in their previous outing. It is also 9-2 in the Canucks’ last 11 overall, 5-1 in their last six at home, 5-0 in their last five against the Eastern Conference, and 10-2 in their last 12 following a win. Additionally, the under is 4-0-2 in the last six meetings between the two teams and 5-0-1 in New Jersey’s last six trips to Vancouver. Look for this one to stay under the total.