Two teams that have put themselves firmly in playoff contention, the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues collide at the Scottrade Center in an East-West showdown. The first puck will drop at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2, and it is being televised live on MSG Plus 2.
New Jersey Devils vs. St. Louis Blues Odds
St. Louis (+135) is entering this one as the underdog to St. Louis (-155), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-140 under, +120 over).
The Blues are 24-17 straight up (SU) and have earned 2.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, the second-best in the Central Division so far in the early season, is right in line with what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (46-36). Out of its 41 regular season contests, 25 of them have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and none have pushed. The team is 13-8 SU at home this season.
St. Louis has converted on just 15.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that puts the team in the bottom-5 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all penalties.
As a collective unit, St. Louis has been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall this season, 3.6 per game over its past five outings total, and 3.4 per game over its last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 7.8 minutes per contest over its last five home games.
Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .913 save percentage, Jake Allen (18-15-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Blues this year. If head coach Mike Yeo chooses to rest him, however, the Blue Notes might turn to Carter Hutton (7-5-5 record, .946 save percentage, 1.68 goals against average).
Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko will each lead the way for the Blues. Schenn (41 points) has tallied 17 goals and 24 assists and has recorded two or more points in 10 different games this year. Tarasenko has 16 goals and 22 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 23 games.
Over on the other bench, New Jersey is 22-16 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 9.2 units this season. Through 38 regular season contests, 21 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just one has pushed. As the road team so far, New Jersey is 10-8 SU.
New Jersey has converted on 21.1 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked eighth overall and it’s successfully defended 83.5 percent of all penalties.
New Jersey’s skaters have been called for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 3.2 per game over their last five road outings. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.8 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Cory Schneider (29.5 saves per game) has been the main option in the net for New Jersey. Schneider has 18 wins, 12 losses, and five OT losses to his credit, while registering a .920 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average this year.
For the visiting Devils, the offense will run through Taylor Hall, who has 24 assists and 12 goals this year.
New Jersey Devils at St. Louis Blues Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over
The under has hit in four of St. Louis’ last five outings.
Penalties and power plays could prove to be critical in this matchup. The Devils are 6-6 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 9-11 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Blues are 11-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 16-11 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
New Jersey (3-2 in shootouts) has more shootout experience coming into this one. St. Louis, however, has yet to lose a shootout this year (2-0).
St. Louis is ranked 13th with 7.8 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended down lately, however, as it has averaged 6.9 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.4 takeaways over its last five.
New Jersey is ranked seventh in the league with 8.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher lately, as the team has averaged 10.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 12.4 takeaways over its last five.