The Devils are off to a surprisingly fast start to the season at (6-4-1) and have dominated on the road. This should be a very competitive matchup as the Islanders attempt to get back on track.
Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 3rd, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to the NHL Odds the Islanders are a -158 betting favorite despite their poor play as of late and the total for this game is 5 goals. Can the Devils continue their winning ways on the road and at a very appealing price? And can we trust them with our NHL Picks tonight?
Fortunately, we have confirmation that Corey Schneider will be in net for the Devils and Jaroslav Halak will be between the pipes for the Islanders.
Schneider has been a key reason for the Devils success this season thus far. Although this is a team that ranks 20th in the NHL in goals, the goaltending has been superb and it's all due to Schneider. For the season, he's 6-2-1 with a 2.17 GAA and.919 SV%. This has enabled the New Jersey Devils to be an early season surprise and the Islanders will have more than they bargained for with Schneider in net.
As for Halav, he's split duties in net with Thomas Greiss and this has enabled him to be fresh. He's an impressive 3-1-1 with a 1.78 GAA. It also helps the Isles netminders that the New York Islanders rank 6th in goals scored this season at 3 goals per game and are the top penalty killing team in the league.
As I just stated, the Islanders are a goal scoring machine and a lot of it has to do with their best player on the squad in superstar John Tavares. Tavares has gotten off to a super-fast start to the season with 5 goals and 6 assist in just 10 games. Tavares is also very aggressive as he leads the squad in penalty minutes with 18.
Simply stated, this is one of the best players and faces of the NHL for years to come. Tavares has been held pointless during the Islanders losing streak, but that can change at the drop of a dime as this guy is capable of scoring a hat trick in one period of play.
Two other key players to focus on are centerman, Frans Nielsen and winger, Kyle Okposo. Nielsen is tied for the lead on the team in goals with 5 and Okposo has proven that he's a reliable contributor on the power play and can also dish the puck and set up other teammates. New York is a deserving favorite and has run into a hot team.
The Devils have yet to lose on the road and will face a major challenge, especially on the power play. When up a man, the Devils are 7th in the league, but their strength could be negated by the Islanders strength. Only time will tell.
Thus far, New Jersey has been led by goal scorer, Adam Henrique (6 goals, 3 assists) and assist man, Mike Cammallerri (3 goals, 8 assists). Along with center, Travis Zajac (3 ppg), the Devils have gotten off to a quick start this season as many have expected them to be near the basment of the division.
Good goaltending and timely scoring has led to New Jersey's success. They're coming off of a 3-2 SO win over these same Islanders across the river. This could be a statement game for New Jersey as the Islanders look for a little revenge.
NHL Pick: New York Islanders -158 at 5Dimes