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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New Jersey Devils Free Picks & NHL Preview

Penguins vs Devils NHL Spread/Handicapping

It is hard to believe that the Regular Season hasn’t ended and we are talking about the New Jersey Devils’ last home game of the season but that is the situation Thursday night as they host the injury-riddled Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that they have owned at the Prudential Center the past few seasons.

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Pittsburgh Penguins (35-11-0-0) at New Jersey Devils (18-18-3-7)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 25, 2013
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Broadcast: NBCSN, ROOT, MSG PLUS
Pens vs. Devils Betting Lines from betonline.com
Devils Attempt to Continue Home Dominance Versus the Beasts of the East – Pittsburgh

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In fact, the Devils are the only team in the NHL with a winning record versus Pittsburgh this year. Sidney Crosby (jaw) and James Neal (concussion) are still doubtful and Paul Martin (hand) is questionable for the banged up Penguins but hopes are a couple or all will heal in time for the start of the playoffs next week.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, despite a host of injuries this year have maintained their standing as the top offense in the NHL. They got a boost in their last game when Evgeni Malkin returned from a four game absence – he recorded an assist and picked up right where he left off before the injury.

The trade deadline acquisition have really paid off for the Pens – Brenden Morrow has five goals and 11 points in the past nine games and Iginla has five goals and nine points in the past 10 games for the Penguins while Chris Kunitz has remained the most reliable Penguin with 29 points in 27 games. Kris Letang has five points in his last three games and Matt Cooke has two points in two games as well. If you are looking for a healthy Penguin that is not contributing presently, you will be looking for a long time!

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal Thursday but has struggled in his last two games – a 1-1-0 record with an unflattering 3.53 GAA and .896 save percentage. Fleury, who had won four straight starts before losing to the Sabres, has a 3.58 goals-against average while losing five of his last six starts at New Jersey. Pittsburgh continues to be a solid defensive club allowing 2.46 goals per game however. [ad-4437448]

The New Jersey Devils have officially been eliminated from the playoffs thanks to an ugly 10 game losing streak earlier this month and a 3-6-1 record in their last 10 games overall. New Jersey has had a tough time scoring this year – surprise! But they have looked a little better since their best player returned to the team after injury.

Ilya Kovalchuk`s absence from the lineup all but sealed the fate of the Devils. Since Kovalchuk`s return New Jersey has won three of four games including a 3-2 win over Montreal Tuesday. Kovalchuk, Steve Sullivan and Marek Zidlicky have two points in two games, Danius Zubrus has three points in four games and Patrik Elias has three goals in the past three games for the Devils.

Johan Hedberg is expected to get the nod in goal Thursday night. He is 5-9-3 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .886 save percentage this year – it will be his first start in goal for the Devils since March 19.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• PIT are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. Atlantic.
• PIT are 21-7 in their last 28 road games.
• Under is 14-5-1 in PIT last 20 overall.
• NJ are 12-3 in their last 15 Thu. games.
• Under is 9-3-7 in NJ last 19 overall.
• Over is 6-2-2 in NJ last 10 games following a win.
• Home team is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings.
• Under is 19-8-1 in the last 28 meetings.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won 22 of their last 25 games overall but they have had their issues with the New Jersey Devils, especially in Newark. But this is ramp-up time for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Expect their absolute best Thursday against New Jersey’s backup goalie. The Pens have had their issues against New Jersey but this is not the Devils team we’ve become used to!

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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