Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils - 12/13/13
New Jersey Devils (12-14-6) at Pittsburgh Penguins (21-10-1)
NHL Hockey: Friday, December 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Consol Energy Centre)
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -205 / New Jersey Devils +186 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
Much of the New Jersey Devils inconsistencies can be traced to their lack of goal scoring to start the season. Replacing Ilya Kovalchuk has been as big of an issue as general manager Lou Lamoriello knew it would be, but on Tuesday night goal scoring wasn't the problem at all. The Devils traveled to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets and they found the back of the net more than enough times to come away victorious. Travis Zajac and Michael Ryder scored first period goals for the Devils and Damien Brunner's first goal of the game early in the second period gave the Devils a 3-1 lead. Columbus would rally to tie the game and eventually take the lead in the third period before Brunner's second of the night evened things at 4-4. New Jersey was't even able to secure a point from this one as Martin Brodeur allowed his fifth goal on just 23 shots with less than two minutes to play as the Devils fell to the Blue Jackets by a final of 5-4. It was unfortunate for New Jersey who hasn't been able to put it all together this year but getting contributions from guys like Zajac, Ryder, and Brunner could be just what this team needs in order to find more consistent offense going forward. The Devils will get their crack at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night who come into this game first in the Metropolitan Division at 21-10-1 on the year. The Penguins haven't played since Monday night when they hosted the Blue Jackets and were able to ride Marc-Andre Fleury's 32 saves to a 2-1 victory. Evgeni Malkin and SIdney Crosby scored the goals for the Penguins and any time those two are on the score sheet it usually means good things for the Pens. The scary thing about the Penguins is that they really haven't even gotten going to this point and they're still going to run away with the division. Pittsburgh is a heavy favorite in this game on Friday night despite having trouble at the Prudential Center agains the Devils. For whatever reason New Jersey tends to get up for these games and the price is a little too high for me to take the Penguins in this one.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports