Expect the Penguins to be too cool for the Devils when they entertain the New Jersey side up in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. NHL odds makers have the Penguins at -150.

It’s the final furlong of the final week of the regular season and Pittsburgh are still working hard to get their best possible league finish. While the worst the team can technically now finish is 5th spot, they should take heart from the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers are in a flap and are in danger of letting their position slide. Meanwhile behind them Tampa (five wins on the bounce) Bay are going for their own little bit of history with a real late push for glory. The Penguins play their final regular-season home contest at CONSOL Energy Center against the Devils and expect them to give the home fans something to get excited about before their season ending two-game road trip to Long Island and Atlanta.

Points mean places!

Pittsburgh still have hopes of a top spot finish in the division and the Eastern Conference, they currently sit three points behind both the Flyers and Capitals with three games remaining for all the teams. The bad news is that while they have victory within their grasp, they are still only one point ahead of Tampa Bay for fifth. With everything to play for the Devils will probably be facing a focused and professional herd of Penguins. The bookies certainly think that it’ll be a Penguin flavoured night.

Sympathy for the Devils

For a while this season it looked like the boys from New Jersey were about to stage an unlikely playoff assault, and sportsbooks had a panic as they saw lots of betting on the long odds team.  As things turned out though, for the first time in a very long time the Devils found themselves eliminated from the playoffs in the regulation season. New Jersey last failed to book a place in the playoffs in 1996. It was Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Montreal (who can secure their own playoff place with a win against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight) which finally snuffed out the impossible dream. "We knew it was going to come," New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur said. "It doesn't come as a shocker, really. We had a good run; we played really hard to get ourselves in a position to compete for the last 10 games or 15 games or so and try to get into the playoffs. It was just too much."

It's disappointing, no question about it," said Patrik Elias, who has never before missed the playoffs in his 13-season career. "We worked so hard in the offseason to get yourself ready and training camp and 82 games, to put yourself in the playoffs and have an opportunity to compete for a Stanley Cup and when you don't do that it's disappointing. This is the first time for me and I guess there is a first time for everything, but I wish that wouldn't be the case this year." New Jersey’s run of 13 consecutive seasons in the playoffs is the second-longest active streak in the NHL behind Detroit's 20, and will be a significant loss for Devils’ fans.

God Bless the Pittsburgh Penguins, because they had a chance to show the Lightning a clean pair of heels in the standings, if they had beat them on Thursday, but instead they couldn’t find the back of the net and went down to a one-goal loss to keep things exciting. They bounced back well in their next game (on Saturday), despite trailing 2-1 through 20 minutes, they turned the game around and rerecorded a 4-2 victory to keep them in fourth (just). "We control our own destiny," Right Wing Pascal Dupuis said. "We needed to win some games and this one was an important one. It's a big two points."

Form will out on when the Penguins face the Devils, I fear that New Jersey are now a spent force and the Penguins can’t afford to give them an easy ride. Concentrate your betting on the Penguins and a decent score.

Prediction: 4 - 2 Penguins.