NHL Hockey Betting: New Jersey Devils at Carolina Panthers

NHL Hockey Betting:  New Jersey Devils at Carolina Panthers

NHL hockey betting on Sunday with three games on the board. In this preview we’ll take a look at the New Jersey Devils as they battle the Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams are still alive for a playoff spot–in theory at least. With 7 games left to play the Devils trail Philadelphia for the final wild card spot in the East by five points, Carolina by six points. Obviously they need some momentum to get them in (and Philadelphia needs to lose some) but they’ve at least got something to play for. Both teams lost in overtime last time out–Carolina lost to the New York Islanders 4-3 last night while the Devils lost a hard fought game to the Washington Capitals 1-0 on Friday night. New Jersey is 5-4-1 in their last ten games while the Hurricanes have been struggling with a 3-2-5 record in their last ten.

The Devils are without starting goaltender Cory Schneider ‘indefinitely’ but the silver lining is that they might have found a future superstar in rookie Scott Wedewood. 3 games started, 93 shots against, 91 saves with one shutout isn’t a bad way to start your NHL career. Wedgewood failed in his bid for back to back shutouts with the OT loss to Washington but he was able to put together a shutout streak of 159:34. That’s the second longest ever by a Devils rookie goaltender behind Martin Brodeur who went 164:18 in 1993-94. Wedgeood gets the start again here and faces a Carolina team that ranks #25 in goals scored per game (2.43). The Panthers are also fairly mediocre defensively, ranking #16 in goals against per game.

New Jersey ranks dead last in goals per game but has a very solid defense (it helps when you have goalies like Schneider and now Wedgewood in net). The Devils are tied with Chicago for the #9 scoring defense in the NHL. In fact, were they able to improve their goal scoring they’d have the statistical profile of a playoff team–the Devils are #9 on the power play (82.3) and #11 on the penalty kill (82.3). The Hurricanes have a good kill (84.5) but are a woeful #25 on the power play. Devils are the better team and if Wedgewood continues his current form are capable of winning a few games down the stretch.