Pittsburgh Penguins vs New Jersey Devils: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Prudential Center – Newark, NJ.

When: Tuesday, February 19, 7PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): Sportsnet, ATT Sportsnet Pittsburgh, MSG+ | WFAN.

Pittsburgh Penguins (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Sullivan {All-Time 230-142-15-52 PIT, BOS}

Pittsburgh rolls into New Jersey with a huge opportunity to get two points against a division rival and keep climbing the ladder into a playoff spot.

Already the heavy favourite in this matchup, the Penguins will have an added boost as defenseman Justin Schultz was recently activated from injured reserve and forward Evgeni Malkin, after being lost to injury and then a suspension, will be back on the ice as well.

The offense is all Pittsburgh here. After scoring his 800th career point over the weekend, Phil Kessel and the Pens bring in a roster to New Jersey that is fifth in the league in goals scored, sixth on the powerplay, and seventh for shooting accuracy. Defensively, the Penguins take the eighth fewest penalties in the league and rank seventh overall in killing penalties.

Goaltending duties for the Penguins are expected to fall to Matt Murray. Murray is 17-9-1 on the season. He boasts a goals against average of 2.82 with a save percentage of .916. He has three shutouts.

New Jersey Devils (Home)

Head Coach: John Hynes {All-Time 132-133-39 NJD}

The Pittsburgh Penguins are just the beginning of a long week for the Devils that will see them later compete against the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, and the Boston Bruins. The month of February as a whole has not been kind to New Jersey as their schedule for the month has them playing 15 games in 26 days with no consecutive days off.

This work overload will wear down on a team that has already suffered through injury all season. And just as the good news came that left winger Miles Wood would be returning to the lineup after an arm injury, the news hit that forward Blake Coleman will take his place on injured reserve. Top forward Taylor Hall and top defenseman Sami Vatanen are both on the IR with Coleman.

The only real advantage for the Devils on paper is the home-ice advantage. The Prudential Center is a building where the Devils have managed a 14-9-5 record despite their hardships this season. But the Penguins are no slouch on the road. Their record away from Pittsburgh almost mirrors the Devils’ home success.

It is likely that goaltender Keith Kinkaid will get the start for the Devils. Kinkaid’s record this season sits at 15-17-6. His goals against average is 3.34 and his save percentage is .892. Like opposing goalie Matt Murray, Kinkaid also has three shutouts on the season.

Pittsburgh and New Jersey last met on January 28 where the Devils picked up the underdog victory with a score of 6-3.

What’s At Stake?

This is Pittsburgh’s game to lose. Every two points at this point of the season are crucial. The Penguins are 30-21-7 at the time of writing and find themselves in the second wildcard spot in the East behind the Canadiens. They are only seven points back of the Metropolitan division-leading New York Islanders. The playoffs are well within grasp of the Pens.

Questions to answer

Will home-ice advantage be enough for the Devils to stop the Penguins?

After an AHL conditioning stint and receiving his first regular-season victory late last week, should the Devils consider starting Corey Schneider or is reverting back to Keith Kinkaid the right choice?

How much has the month of February and their schedule already taken out of the New Jersey Devils heading into this matchup?

Pittsburgh Penguins Injury Report

D Olli Maatta – IR (upper-body).

New Jersey Devils Injury Report

F Blake Coleman – IR (upper-body).

D Sami Vatanen – IR (concussion).

F Stefan Noesen – IR (lower-body).

F Taylor Hall – IR (lower-body).

Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils Predictions and Odds

The New Jersey Devils are a +110 underdog against the -130 Pittsburgh Penguins.