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The New Jersey Devils are 3-1-1 over their last five games.
The Carolina Hurricanes are on a three-game losing streak.
The Hurricanes are 2-0-0 against the Devils this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
New Jersey Devils
25-12-3 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
25-8-7 (1st in Metropolitan Division)
Jack Hughes (49)
Martin Necas (38)
Jack Hughes (26)
Andrei Svechnikov (19)
Jesper Bratt, Dougie Hamilton (25)
Brent Burns (23)
Tomas Tatar (23)
Brady Skjei (15)
Jack Hughes (4.6)
Shots (Per Game)
Martin Necas (3.5)
The New Jersey Devils will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face the Hurricanes for the third time this season. The Hurricanes won the first two matchups and are projected to win again today.
The Devils are in second place in the Metropolitan Division but could fall to third with a loss and Washington Capitals win. On the other side, the Hurricanes are in first place in the Metropolitan and have a four-point lead over the Devils.
The Devils have a strong offense and average 3.4 goals a game. Defensively, they are even better and have the defense in the Metropolitan. The Devils’ goaltending could use some work, but overall, they have a strong squad with a few scorers and a handful of solid defensemen.
The Devils offense is led by centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, left-winger Jesper Bratt, and defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Hughes may be the only star in this group, but the other three can hold their own. These four players have at least 34 points and 20 assists this season and have been instrumental in New Jersey’s surprising success.
Vitek Vanecek is the Devils’ starting goaltender this season. Vanecek has surprised many with his strong play and has performed like a top-ten goaltender this year. The 27-year-old has 15 wins and only allows 2.34 goals per game.
The Hurricanes also have a decent offense, but not as good as the Devils’. Carolina has a high ceiling, but they often underperform. Regardless, the Hurricanes can always count on their impressive goaltenders and top-six defense to perform and keep them in games.
The Hurricanes have maintained most of their stars from last season and continue to be led by Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, and Sebastian Aho. These three can score and pass and have at least 31 points and 12 goals this season.
Pyotr Kochetkov and Antti Raanta have made up the Hurricanes’ goaltending duo in the absence of Frederik Andersen. Kochetkov has performed better, but Raanta still provides that veteran presence in the net. Regardless, the Hurricanes are in good shape with either playing.
The Hurricanes may have lost their previous three games, but I expect them to win today. They have home-ice advantage and have figured out the Devils this season. Bet on Carolina.
The Devils are the underdogs but can win with strong goaltending and tough defense.
The Devils are facing a Hurricanes team that averages 35.9 shots a game. Those 35.9 shots only result in 3.1 goals, but that is still a dangerous amount of shots. Whoever is in net for New Jersey must be a brick wall and not let more than two goals go in the net.
The Devils have the fourth-best defense in the NHL. Their defensemen are competent and know their roles. The New Jersey defensemen need to continue excelling in their roles today. That will likely be the difference between a win and a loss.
The Carolina Hurricanes are the favorites but will only win if they draw penalties and take Jesper Bratt and Dougie Hamilton out of the play.
The Hurricanes have one of the worst power plays in the league and convert less than 20% of their opportunities. This a huge problem and a big reason their offense does not rank near the top. The Hurricanes must draw at least five penalties today. If they do, they will likely score one power play goal.
Jesper Bratt and Dougie Hamilton are not the Devils’ best scorers, but they are their best passers. Bratt and Hamilton are tied for the team lead in assists at 25 and have at least three assists in their last five games. The Hurricanes cannot let them get the puck. Carolina has to force the puck out of their hands quickly or cut off all passes to them. If they do, they will slow down the Devils’ offense.
This is the obvious choice. Jack Hughes is the Devil’s leading scorer and has the second-most assists at 23. However, he is also coming off a two-goal, one-assist game against the New York Rangers. In addition, Hughes has eight goals in his last five games.
Hughes does not need to change anything going into this game. The Devils will be in a good position as long as he keeps shooting.
Brady Skjei brings a veteran defensive presence to the Hurricanes. The 28-year-old leads the Hurricanes with a +/- of 15. Skjei also scored one goal and had one assist in the Hurricanes’ previous game.
Skjei is a strong defensive player and has momentum from his previous game. He has to bring that same energy into this one and contribute on both sides of the puck.
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What - New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes
Where - PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
When - Tuesday, January 10, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - ESPN+, Hulu
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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