Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Free NHL Picks: Isles ML & Under
Best Line Offered: Bovada
The New Jersey Devils have the fewest road wins in the NHL with five. So, what reason would I have to pick them to upset the New York Islanders in Uniondale on Thursday? The Isles still play most of their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn but a few this year at their old stomping grounds, the Nassau Coliseum. This is one of those. Hey, at least the Devils don’t have to get on a plane! Maybe that’s their road problem.
It’s the third of four meetings, with the Islanders leading 2-0. They won 3-0 in Brooklyn on Nov. 3 behind 35 saves from No. 1 star Thomas Greiss. Jordan Eberle (power play), Brock Nelson and Scott Mayfield (shorthanded) had the goals. New Jersey outshot New York 35-33 for the game, but the Devils were 0-for-4 on the power play. Keith Kinkaid was in net.
On Nov. 23 in Newark, the Islanders won 4-3 in overtime as Mathew Barzal won it 3:40 into OT, punching in his own rebound on a breakaway. Marcus Johansson had tied it 3-3 with just 11 seconds left in regulation. Greiss and Kinkaid were in net again.
No Hall, No Reason To Bet Devils
New Jersey remains without reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall due to a lower-body injury. He hasn’t played since Dec. 23 and probably won’t until after the All-Star break. He’s still second on the team with 37 points, one back of Kyle Palmieri – who just recently passed Hall.
The Devils dropped to a ghastly 5-16-3 on the road with Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in Columbus to end a two-game winning streak. New Jersey didn’t score until it was down 4-0 late in the second. As it was the second of a back-to-back, Kinkaid got the start but it should be impressive rookie Mackenzie Blackwood here. He’s 5-2-0 with a 2.25 GAA and .935 SV.
The Islanders have allowed just four goals over their past three games, winning the previous two. It was 2-1 in OT vs. the Blues on Tuesday. Valterri Filppula’s 10th goal of the season at 1:37 of OT was the winner. Jordan Eberle had the other tally, his 200th career goal. Robin Lehner continued to thrive, winning for the ninth time in the past 10. He’s 13-7-3 with a 2.16 GAA and .928 SV. The Isles are 19-1-3 when leading after two periods.
- Devils are 4-11 in their last 15 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Islanders are 6-0 in their last 6 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Devils are 1-9 in the last 10 meetings in New York.
- Under is 11-5-4 in the last 20 meetings.
New York has won 12 of 15, while the Devils figure to be a bit worn down playing their fourth game in the past six nights. Plus, you know, they suck on the road. Take the Isles and the ‘under’ for an NHL parlay wager.