Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#71 Pittsburgh Penguins vs.
#72 New Jersey Devils
Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
Prudential Center, Newark
Written by Valdis Pans

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Having won just one of their past six outings, the New Jersey Devils (7th in East Division) will try to squeeze out a rare victory while playing host to the Pittsburgh Penguins (3rd in the East), who already snatched a triumph in Newark on Friday.

Penguins Sweep A Back-To-Back

The Pittsburgh Penguins (26-13-2) recorded two consecutive victories after sweeping a back-to-back set just before the weekend. The Pens ended a two-game losing run (0-2-0) after snatching a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday before beating the New Jersey Devils with a count of 6-4 at Prudential Center just 24 hour later. Kris Letang (7 goals, 34 points this year) pocketed a team-high four points (1 goal, 3 assists) throughout the set, as Pittsburgh went 3-2-0 on its current six-date road trek. The team is 7-2-0 in its past nine fixtures overall.

Goalie Tristan Jarry, who stopped 22 shots in Manhattan, has now gone 16-8-2 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.88 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He has posted a 1-1-1 past total versus New Jersey with a 1.99 GAA and a .944 save percentage, while Casey DeSmith (10-5-0 this season with a 2.40 GAA and a .912 save percentage), who made 26 saves in Newark, is 2-3-0 against the Devils historically with a 2.86 GAA and a .915 save percentage. The Penguins are 3rd in most goals scored per game this year (3.37), 15th in least goals conceded on average (2.83), 11th in power play (22.3%) and 25th in penalty kill (76.4%).

Devils Beat Buffalo, Lose To Pens

The New Jersey Devils (14-19-6) earned a two-game split throughout their latest back-to-back stretch just before the weekend, following up Thursday’s 6-3 triumph against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center with a 6-4 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center the following evening. Pavel Zacha (10 goals, 25 points this year) buried two power-play markers in the first contest, while Miles Wood (13 goals, 18 points) netted twice for New Jersey in the second, as the Devils have now gone 2-5-2 in their last nine outings. The team is riding a five-game losing skid on own ice (0-4-1).

Goalie Aaron Dell made 24 saves in Buffalo to take his current performance status to 1-2-0 for the season with a 3.49 GAA and a .880 save percentage. He has registered a 2-0-0 career tally versus Pittsburgh with a 1.85 GAA and a .943 save percentage, while Mackenzie Blackwood (9-11-3 on the year with a 3.02 GAA and a .905 save percentage), who turned aside 21 shots on Friday, has posted a 2-3-0 previous record against the Penguins with a 3.20 GAA and a .911 save percentage. The Devils are 8th in least goals scored per game this season (2.59), 9th in most goals given up on average (3.15), 28th in power play (14.2%) and bottom of the league in penalty kill (71.7%).

Best Bets for this Game

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The Devils have demonstrated spurts of inspired hockey lately, but have failed to even capitalize on that, managing to collect just two victories in their last nine overall matchups, currently riding a five-game losing skid on their own ice. New Jersey has also lost five straight fixtures against teams with a winning percentage above the .600 mark and has been having a terrible time during busy schedules, dropping four of its previous five outings played on the last night of a 4-games-in-6-days scenario. The Penguins, on the other hand, have been performing in super solid mode. They might not have been too impressive defensively lately, averaging 5.25 snipes against in their past four contests, but have found scoring from different lines and have dropped just five of their past 19 decisions. Pittsburgh has also beaten the Devils by more than one marker in each of its last four victories against them. So, do consider stretching your backing of the Penguins here all the way to the puck line!

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 (+140)

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Five of the previous seven contests between New Jersey and Pittsburgh have cruised below the set goal-mark, averaging just four strikes per game. So, banking on another low-scoring matchup between the pair is definitely not the worst of options! Six of the previous nine domestic fixtures of the Devils have already delivered just a minimal amount of snipes, recording an average of 4.33 goals per encounter, while seven of the most recent 10 outings of the Penguins following a victory have all been decided within the realm of just five tallies.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

Bio Coming soon!