Devils Pace Catches Caps Early

New Jersey Devils players celebrating

Dana Lane

Friday, October 13, 2017 7:42 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 7:42 PM GMT

Going right back to the well tonight as I have spotted another 1st period, home dog, advantage play on the Devils as the Washington Capitals invade the Prudential Center. Puck drops at 7:00 ET/4:00 PT

Nobody likes a ‘push’ but it’s better than a loss. Last night the St. Louis Blues peppered Roberto Luongo with 39 total shots, including 13 in the 1st, but managed just two goals and none in the first period to keep the game scoreless. Jake Allen made 11 1st period saves to keep our bet alive but in the end, our first-period play ended up in a ‘push’ and ultimately a refund.
 

Washington Capitals vs New Jersey Devils  

If you’re going to sit at the adult table you have to show that you belong there.

The New Jersey Devils have opened the 2017-18 season with three victories but a win over the Washington Capitals (2-1-1) would validate their early accomplishments. Yes, the Toronto win was enough for the league to take notice but a win over the two-time Presidents Trophy “champions” would really earn the respect of the Devils fan base. The Capitals have averaged 119 points over the last two seasons so it’s fair to say that Head Coach John Hynes has this one circled considering New Jersey managed just 154, an average of 77 points, over that period. We haven’t seen the Devils participate in the postseason since the 2011-12 season. Make no mistake, this is a big game and we’re jumping on it early.

There seems to be an early discipline mismatch developing which could help us tonight. In four games this season the Capitals have already been called for 20 minor penalties, tied for 5th. Defensemen Aaron Ness and Matt Niskanen lead the Caps with four minor’s resulting in 8 penalty minutes for each player. The Devils have been called for 15 minor infractions but also have been called for two major penalties which push their PIM/game to 18:39 per game (3rd). You could even make the case that a few of the Devils infractions were iffy at best. The major penalties don’t bother me as much as the minors because those aren’t usually skill related. Last season the Capitals finished third in the NHL with 32 minor penalties. Point is, I think it’s more likely that the Devils will have a man advantage early on giving us a chance to cash our bet.

The Capitals are last with 24.8 shots per game and have been outshot by over nine shots per game.

So far the Devils have been relentless, fast, and defensively responsible. They must continue these traits while keeping the Caps top six quiet. I have more confidence that they can do this for 20 minutes more than I do for a full 60 so let’s get down on the Devils at +120 in the first for our NHL picks.
 

Free NHL Picks: New Jersey Devils -125 1HBest Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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