NHL Hockey Betting: New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

Big slate of hockey for Thursday night and right at the top of the board is a Metropolitan Conference battle between the Washington Capitals and the reeling New Jersey Devils. Washington is starting to round into the form expected of a defending Presidents’ Cup champion–they’ve moved into a fourth place tie with Philadelphia and are 7-2-1 in their last ten games. They’re also coming off a loss to the New York Islanders last time out. The Devils are a mess right now. They’ve got the worst record in the Eastern Conference and are 1-8-1 in their last ten games. They’ll have to face the Capitals in a home and home series with the return date in Newark on New Years’ Eve.

Left winger Vernon Fiddler is out for New Jersey tonight and winger Taylor Hall is listed as ‘questionable’. The Devils will go with backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid for this game. This will be Kinkaid’s 9th start of the year and he’s got a record of 3-3-2 with a 2.70 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage.

The Devils will catch no breaks whatsoever from the Capitals’ lineup–they have no significant injuries and will last year’s Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby. Holtby isn’t having a season worthy of a Vezina repeat at this point (plus he’s got a ton of competition this season) but he’s definitely having a solid campaign–15-8-3 with a 2.06 goals against average and 0.926 save percentage with 3 shutouts. The Devils are #27 in scoring offense putting up just 2.27 goals per game and that should help Holtby–not that he really needs any assistance.

The Capitals swept the head to head series last season and have won 4 of the last 5 meetings at home. The Devils have been a capable home team this season (9-3-2) but have been horrible on the road with a record of 4-12-5. The Capitals are excellent at home with a 12-5-0 record and they look to be just too good in too many different areas of play for a struggling New Jersey team to do anything about. If the Devils are to take a victory from the Capitals it’ll more likely happen at home–not here.