The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the New Jersey Devils in an East division battle on Saturday afternoon. The Devils remain at the bottom of the standings as the losses continue to pile up. The Penguins are fighting for first place in the division and wallopped the Devils on Thursday night. Pittsburgh leads the season series 5-2.
Devils Losing Streak Continues
The New Jersey Devils have really fallen apart recently and could end up finishing in last place in the entire NHL. They have now lost eight consecutive games overall and are three points away from being ranked last in the entire league. The Devils’ have talent but give up a ton of goals which continued in Thursday’s ugly loss.
New Jersey has dealt with injuries all season which includes former first overall pick Nico Hischier. The 22-year old center has only played in 11 games and has come away with five points. Pavel Zacha made his return to action on Thursday after missing over a week. The young center is having a solid year, posting 25 points in 40 games. Jack Hughes has made an impact against the Penguins this season, earning three goals along with one assist in the seven meetings. The 19-year old center has 24 points.
Absolute 🚀— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) April 22, 2021
🍏: Boqvist pic.twitter.com/2IzIBspiNN
The Devils started Aaron Dell between the pipes as #1 goalie Mackenzie Blackwood has missed the last few games with an upper-body injury and is questionable for this one. Blackwood is having a mediocre season, filing a 3.10 GAA and a .900 save %. Goaltending has been an issue as Aaron Dell and Scott Wedgewood also have a GAA over three. NJ is averaging 2.5 goals per game, pegging them 27th overall. They are allowing an NHL worst 3.4 goals.
Penguins Target Third Consecutive Win Over Devils
The Pittsburgh Penguins continue an eight-game homestand in this one. They stand at 3-2 in the first five games including Thursday’s 5-1 win over the Devils. Pittsburgh is involved in a thrilling battle for the top spot in the East. They are now just one point out and need to win these games against poor opponents.
Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby is having an outstanding month and now has accrued 10 points in his last seven games overall. The 15-year veteran center has registered 54 points on the year and has a remarkable 11 points against the Devils. Jake Guentzel is having a big year and has tallied six goals this month. The 26-year old has dominated the Devils this season, accumulating a whopping 12 points, including five goals in seven games. Guentzel has netted 20 goals on the season. Kasperi Kapanen made his return from a one-month absence on Thursday night. The 24-yaar old right-winger has 23 points on the year.
SHORTY FOR TEDDY!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 23, 2021
That's what we're talkin' about! pic.twitter.com/VGdRiYAZtt
The Penguins will likely have Tristan Jerry guard the cage. Jarry is having an effective season, recording a 2.79 GAA and a 20-8-3 record while DeSmith features a 2.44 GAA. Pittsburgh is averaging a terrific 3.4 goals per game, ranking them second in the NHL. They are allowing an average of 2.8 goals, landing them 16th overall.
The New Jersey Devils are:
- 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Penguins.
- 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
- 0-6 in their last 6 games when their opponent allows two or fewer goals in their previous game.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are:
- 17-8 in their last 25 home games against the Devils.
- 6-2 in their last 8 games overall.
- 12-5 in their last 17 games following a win.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Penguins are battling for first place and this is a game they should win by multiple goals, especially when considering they just beat this Devils team 5-1 on Thursday night. The Penguins have won six out of their last eight games overall which includes three wins against this New Jersey team in that span.
Furthermore, the Devils have been the worst team in the NHL this month, losing eight consecutive games overall. This is a team with zero confidence and they are having big issues keeping pucks out of the net as they have now surrendered a ridiculous five or more goals in each of their last four clashes.
Full-Game Total Pick
I am opting for the over in this one. The over has been the common trend for the Devils due to their awful defensive play. Pittsburgh has scored a combined 23 goals in their last four games against the Devils which all occurred this month. The over is 7-3 in the Penguins’ last 10 games overall.
In addition, the Penguins are a mediocre defensive team and New Jersey has managed to score 13 goals in their last four meetings against Pittsburgh. The over is 4-1 in the Devils’ last five games against a team with a winning record.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Penguins should resume their scoring barrage. The Penguins have scored five or more goals in each of the last four games against this Devils team. This is the third meeting between these division foes this week and I see no reason why Pittsburgh won’t fill the net after beating them by a 7-6 score on Tuesday, followed by a 5-1 decision on Thursday night.
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am going with the over on the first period total. These foes combined for three goals in the first period on Thursday night. The Penguins are no stranger to early goals, accumulating 51 goals in the opening frame this season. The Devils have squandered 49 first-period goals.