The Prudential Center will be hosting an intriguing matchup as the New Jersey Devils prepare to face the visiting Washington Capitals. It’s the fourth and final time that these two clubs will go at it in the regular season. NBC Sports Washington will broadcast this divisional matchup, which gets underway at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 22.
Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils Odds
Washington is 37-23 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. 36 of its matches have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2019-20 Capitals team is 21-9 SU on the road.
Washington has converted on 20.6 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, it has the fourth-strongest penalty kill in the league, and it’s successfully killed off 84.0 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Washington has been penalized 4.1 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over its last five on the road. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 8.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 25.5 saves per game with a .896 save percentage, Braden Holtby (22-20-5) has been the primary option in goal for Washington this year. If it decides to give him a rest, however, the team may go with Ilya Samsonov (16-7-1), who has a .917 save percentage and 2.38 goals against average this year.
The visiting Capitals have relied on John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin this year. Carlson (70 points) is up to 15 goals and 55 assists, and has recorded multiple points 23 times. Ovechkin has 41 goals and 17 assists to his name (and has notched at least one point in 33 games).
New Jersey is 23-37 straight up (SU) and has lost 10.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 32 of its outings have gone over the total, while 26 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 11-20 SU at home this year.
New Jersey has converted on just 16.3 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places it in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.5 percent of all penalties.
The Devils have been penalized 3.9 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
MacKenzie Blackwood has stopped 27.9 shots per game as the top option in the crease for New Jersey. Blackwood has 20 wins, 22 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a mediocre 2.74 goals against average and a .915 save percentage this year.
The Devils offense will be led by Kyle Palmieri (22 goals, 19 assists).
Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils Free Picks
Free NHL Tip: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under
Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be even more key than usual in this game. The Capitals are 12-9 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 20-12 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Devils are 11-16 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 14-21 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Two of New Jersey’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team’s 1-1 in those games and 4-6 overall in shootouts this year.
New Jersey is ranked 19th overall this season with 7.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as the team has managed 7.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 9.6 takeaways over its last five.
Washington has averaged 3.5 goals per game as a team this season, but has been averaging 2.0 goals per match up over its three-game losing streak.
Washington is ranked 11th in the NHL with 7.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher lately, as the team has forced 8.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.8 takeaways over its last five.