Minnesota Wild vs. New Jersey Devils - 3/10/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New Jersey Devils (28-28-10) at Minnesota Wild (36-23-7)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild -186 / New Jersey Devils +167 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The New Jersey Devils are finally playing some consistent hockey, but unfortunately for them it’s too little too late. The Devils are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off one of their best wins of the season on a weekend where they honored the 1995 Stanley Cup winning club. That team would be proud of the way the Devils have played defense during this stretch, and Cory Schneider has made some Martin Brodeur type of saves during the run as well. While most of the club has struggled for long stretches this season, Schneider has been the rock that has shown up night after night. Sunday afternoon with the Philadelphia Flyers in town it was Keith Kinkaid in net, but the Devils gave a great effort in front of him. Adam Henrique opened the scoring with his 13th goal of the season at 4:49 of the opening season before Ryan White tied things for the Flyers three minutes later. In what was a relatively even second period the Devils used their special teams to gain an edge. Jacob Josefson gave the Devils the lead with a shorthanded goal and Eric Gelinas made it 3-1 with his sixth goal of the season coming on the power play. Henrique and Stephen Gionta would add third period goals in New Jersey’s 5-2 win. Things finally seem to be clicking for this club, and being able to just relax and play hockey without any pressure is certainly beneficial for everyone. General manager Lou Lamiorello is going to have a lot of decisions to make in the off season but one thing that he knows he has for sure is a rock in goal in Cory Schneider. New Jersey needs to find a way to bring in some youth that has offensive potential and they also need more mobile defenseman on their blue line. It’s not going to be something that is solved in one off season but with Schneider in goal the Devils are going to want to find a way to get things figured out as quickly as possible.
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They’ll be facing off against another one of the hottest clubs in the NHL on Tuesday night as they head to Minnesota to take on the Wild. Minnesota has eight wins in their last 10 contests and Sunday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche snapped the club’s five game winning streak. The Wild have been playing some excellent hockey since the middle of January and it’s all coincided with the acquisition of Devan Dubnyk. The much maligned goaltender has been a savior for this club and Sunday’s game was his 24th consecutive start overall. Dubnyk wasn’t very impressive in the loss against Colorado, allowing three goals on 21 shots, but his play overall has been what has carried this club back into contention. Now the Wild find themselves occupying the first wild card berth in the Western Conference with a chance to still gain ground against a Chicago Blackhawks club that is struggling mightily and without star winger Patrick Kane. It’s hard to look at the Wild roster and picture them keeping this going for the rest of the year and into the playoffs but if Dubnyk can continue to dominate like he has been, Minnesota has just as good a chance as anyone right now.
This is a game that isn’t one of my favorites on the board on Tuesday night. Minnesota has been incredible of late but these types of stretches eventually taper off at some point. New Jersey is finally starting to get things going as well and the number in this is a little more than it probably should be. The Wild will probably find a way to win this game but with money lines picking those underdogs is important, and the Devils have a chance to compete in this one.