The Vegas Golden Knights have lost four of their last five games.
The New Jersey Devils have won six of their last seven games.
The Golden Knights were 2-0-0 against the Devils last season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Vegas Golden Knights
New Jersey Devils
29-17-2 (1st in Pacific Division)
30-12-4 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
Chandler Stephenson (42)
Jack Hughes (58)
Reilly Smith (18)
Jack Hughes (30)
Chandler Stephenson (31)
Dougie Hamilton (29)
Shea Theodore (14)
Ryan Graves (29)
Jonathan Marchessault (3.33)
Shots (Per Game)
Jack Hughes (4.5)
The Vegas Golden Knights will travel across the country to face the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season. The Golden Knights have lost four of their previous five games but still, lead the Pacific Division with 60 points. However, they could fall into second place with a loss and Seattle Kraken overtime loss or win. On the other side, the Devils are in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 64 points. They have a firm lead over the third-place New York Rangers and are within striking distance of the first-place Carolina Hurricanes.
The Golden Knights started the season hot but have slowed down and have been playing more mediocre hockey over the past few months. Offensively, they are right in the middle, and defensively, they are a little better than average. With that being said, Vegas has seven players with 31 or more points and solid goaltenders and can make the Playoffs if they begin to fire on all cylinders once again.
The Golden Knights have four 15+ goal-scorers in Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone, and Reilly Smith. These four are also fairly efficient scorers and convert over 10% of their shots. If they all take the right shots, Vegas will be in good shape.
Logan Thompson and Adin Hill are the Golden Knights’ two goalies. Together, they make a mediocre goaltending pair and allow over 2.7 goals a game. One of them will need to step up, if the Golden Knights want to make a run.
The Devils have surprised many with their impressive play this season. After missing the Playoffs last year, they are almost a lock to make it this season. New Jersey has a group of solid defensemen and allows less than 2.7 goals per game. Offensively, they are even more dominant and score nearly 3.5 goals per game. I would also be remiss if I did not speak about the Devils’ goaltending. Much of the Devils’ success this season has come as a result of netminder Vitek Vanecek’s strong play.
The Devils are led by Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, and Dougie Hamilton. These four have different skill sets but are all stellar players. They each have at least 40 points and 24 assists.
Vitek Vanecek and Mackenzie Blackwood make up the Devils’ goaltending duo. Vanecek is arguably a top-ten netminder, but Blackwood has had his troubles this year. The 26-year-old will need to improve, or he may be out of a job.
The Devils are more well-rounded and playing better hockey over the last few weeks, so I will give them the edge. Bet on New Jersey.
The Golden Knights are struggling, and the underdogs but will win if they draw penalties and get second-chance shots.
The Golden Knights have only scored eight goals over their previous five games and need to jumpstart their offense. They can do this by drawing penalties and scoring a power-play goal. Vegas typically has a strong power play unit and converts almost ¼ of their opportunities. This unit needs to perform to expectation today and take advantage of their opportunities.
I am unsure of who will be in the net for the Devils. Regardless, the Golden Knights will need to score at least three times and will only be able to if they crash the net and look for second-chance shots.
The Devils are the favorites but will only win if they play aggressive defense and pass to Jack Hughes.
The Devils are facing a Golden Knights squad that has been struggling to score. Even so, New Jersey needs to send a message early and play aggressive defense out of the gates. If they do, the Golden Knights will get discouraged and be less likely to challenge the Devils’ defensemen.
Jack Hughes has been a force this season. The 21-year-old has 30 goals and 28 assists and is coming off a one-goal, one-assist game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hughes' teammates need to continue to involve him as much as possible in this game. If they do, their offense will be unstoppable.
Chandler Stephenson is having another strong season for the Golden Knights. He has 11 goals and 31 assists through 42 games. However, his level of play has dropped significantly over the last five games. Stephenson only has two assists in this time.
Stephenson is a huge part of the Golden Knights’ offense and must return to form tonight. He needs to finish the game with at least one point.
Jesper Bratt has the second-most points on the Devils (46) and is a key part of their team. However, he has not scored a goal in three games. Bratt must return to his goal-scoring ways and star in his role on offense.
What - Vegas Golden Knights vs New Jersey Devils
Where - Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
When - Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 PM EST
How to Watch - ESPN+, Hulu
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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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