The New Jersey Devils face the Tampa Bay Lightning with both teams looking to build off of strong seasons. The Devils have a 44-18-7 record and hold the second-best record in the Metropolitan Division. The Lightning have a 42-22-6 record and with three wins in a row, they have the third-best record in the Atlantic Division. Both teams look to improve in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and the upcoming game should be a great one as a result.
Devils have been led by great offenseThe Devils are having a great season with their offense stepping up and scoring 3.49 goals per game. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and Nico Hischier have scored 92 goals and 122 assists to lead the top two lines but the entire offense has been great this season. Dawson Mercer, Tomas Tatar, and Erik Haula have combined for 56 goals and 77 assists while defenseman Dougie Hamilton has added 18 goals and 46 assists from the point to open up the offense.
The offense has been great but the defense has stepped up as well, allowing only 2.66 goals per game. Jonas Seigenthaler and Dougie Hamilton have combined for 9.3 defensive point shares and 200 blocked shots while Ryan Graves, John Marino, and Damon Severson have combined for 10.6 defensive point shares to add depth to the unit. Additionally, goaltender Vitek Vanecek has been great with a .908 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average on 1103 shots with 4.2 goals saved above average.
Lightning have been carried by remarkable offenseThe Lightning are having a great season with their offense leading the way, scoring 3.45 goals per game with 13 goals in the last three games. Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point have scored 60 goals and 107 assists to lead the top line but the rest of the offense has been great as well. Steven Stamkos, Brandon Hagel, and Alex Killorn have combined for 74 goals and 103 assists while defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev have added 13 goals and 81 assists from the point to open up the offense.
The offense has been great but the defense has struggled, allowing 3.01 goals per game. Hedman and Sergachev have combined for 8.0 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to carry the puck into the offensive zone and find open shots on the net. The bright spot has been the play of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who has a .914 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average on 1622 shots with 15.7 goals saved above average.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a great game between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Devils look to bounce back from two losses to the Lightning but the Lightning look to step up on their home ice and control this game. The Lightning, who average 3.45 goals per game, should pile on the goals with Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and the rest of the forward unit controlling the puck in the offensive zone and creating open shots with quick passes near the net. The Lightning should limit the Devils' offense with Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, and the rest of the defensive unit stepping up at the blue line and cutting off angles to the net on the rush while limiting the shots on the net, allowing goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make plenty of big saves. The Lightning should win the game with a strong performance on their home ice.
Take the Lightning money line as home Favorites.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have been led by their offenses and the upcoming game should reflect that with both forward units finding the back of the net throughout the game. The Devils, who average 3.49 goals per game, should pile on the goals with Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, and the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and creating open shots with great passes near the net. The Lightning, who have scored 13 goals in the last three games, should run up the score with Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, and the rest of the forward unit crashing the net on the rush and creating open shots with great puck movement while Victor Hedman picks apart the Devils defense from the point. The Over should cover in a high-scoring game with both offenses stepping up.
Take the Over on 6.5 goals.