The New Jersey Devils have been a pleasant surprise this season and led the Metropolitan Division for a while. However, the Devils are struggling as they host Washington on Thursday as the Capitals are starting to pull away in the Metro. Washington will be an NHL betting favorite on the road.
Capitals at Devils NHL Betting Odds & Game PreviewNHL.com/tvRadio: WJFK 106.7 FM (Washington) / WFAN 101.9 FM (New Jersey)Opening NHL Betting Lines: Capitals -125
Season SeriesThe Capitals won in New Jersey on Oct. 13, 5-2. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and three assists. T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin scored and set up Backstrom’s power-play tally. Jacub Vrana also scored for the Capitals, and Braden Holtby had 21 saves. Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri scored for the Devils. Cory Schneider made 23 saves, getting beat three times on the power play.On Dec. 30 in D.C., the Capitals won by the same 5-2 score. Backstrom and John Carlson had a goal and two assists each, and Ovechkin had three assists. Holtby stopped 25 shots. Christian Djoos had a goal and an assist, and Tom Wilson and Matt Niskanen also scored for the Capitals. For the Devils, John Moore scored late in the first period and Travis Zajac midway through the third. Schneider stopped 30 shots.Washington is 9-0-1 in its last 10 games against New Jersey.
Why Bet on Washington?The Capitals come off their bye week, which they entered with a 4-3 win in Carolina last week – Washington’s sixth win in the past seven. Ovechkin picked up a goal and two assists. Ovechkin registered an assist on Lars Eller’s first-period goal. He then added a goal of his own to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead less than 30 seconds into the second frame. Ovechkin also helped set up Jay Beagle’s game-winning goal with two seconds left in regulation. The Caps captain has 12 points in his last seven games. He’s up to 28 goals and 49 points in 45 games this season.Philipp Grubauer allowed three goals on 39 shots. The Capitals found themselves down 1-0 and 3-2, but they managed to score the game-winning goal with just two seconds remaining in regulation. Grubauer now has a 4-5-3 record with a 2.60 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage this season. Grubauer has been playing at a very high level over his last six appearances. The Capitals’ backup has a 3-0-2 record with a 1.04 goals-against-average and a .965 save percentage over that span.It’s likely to be Holtby here, however. His save percentage is down a bit from past years — a still very respectable .917 — and he’s still looking for his first shutout of the season a year after putting up nine of them, but there’s no question that he’s been one of the team’s MVPs this season.The Caps need more from Oshie. Prior to his injury suffered on Dec. 4, he had racked up 10 goals through the season’s first 28 games (second to only Ovechkin) and 23 points, third-most on the team. Since returning from a six-game absence he has only four points — only one goal — in his last 11 games and the same number of minor penalties post-injury as he had in more than twice as many games before.
Why Bet on New Jersey?The Devils snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 upset win at the Islanders on Tuesday. Damon Severson scored a pair of goals. Severson did all of his damage in the second period, as he scored back-to-back goals less than two minutes apart. His first tally gave the Devils a 2-1 lead while his second made it 3-1 for his team. Severson finished the game with a plus-2 rating and is up to six goals and 12 points in 40 games this season.Prior to the game, coach John Hynes talked about defensemen establishing roles, stepping up and playing to their strengths. All six did so Tuesday. Severson, Andy Greene, Lovejoy, Sami Vatanen, John Moore and Will Butcher combined to hold an opponent to one goal for the first time since their last win on Dec. 27.Taylor Hall extended his point streak to five games with a goal. He’s up to four goals and nine points over the span of that five-game stretch. That gives him 16 goals and 45 points in 41 contests this season.“I think the pucks are going in,” Hall said. “I haven’t been on for a lot against and that’s huge. Last year, the puck didn’t go in and this year it’s going in a lot. I can’t complain about puck luck at all tonight. As you see tonight, we had a lot of Grade A chances. You don’t want to have 15 shots from the wall. You want to have seven from the slot and we’ve done a good job of doing that.”Keith Kinkaid allowed one goal on 26 shots. The Devils goaltender got the start because Cory Schneider was out with an illness. Kinkaid gave up a breakaway goal to Anders Lee early in the first period. He is 6-3-2 with a 3.10 goals-against-average and a .901 save percentage.However, it’s likely that Schneider will be available to suit up for Thursday’s game as New Jersey returned goalie Ken Appleby to the minors on Wednesday. Tuesday marked just the second time in his hockey career that Appleby dressed for an NHL game. Appleby backed up Schneider March 9, 2017, in Colorado.
Latest NBA Betting Trends
- Washington is 4-2 ATS in the last 6 games
- Washington is 6-1 SU in the last 7 games
- The total went OVER in 5 of Washington’s last 7 games
- New Jersey is 6-14 ATS in the last 20 games at homev
- New Jersey is 1-6 SU in the last 7 games
- The total went OVER in 5 of New Jersey’s last 7 games