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Devils vs. Panthers, 6:00 ET
If anyone reads these articles regularly, I apologize for not having a play yesterday, but I didn’t want to force it. When I first started doing these posts, it was just a test to see how successful (or unsuccessful) I could be. Turns out, I’ve been pretty successful with these. I’ll still try to do a post a day but there might be times when we don’t. But, today, we do have a play, so let’s get into it.
The Devils are gearing up for a playoff run with a 44-17-7 overall record. They have hit a bit of a wall the past two games after losing both of their matchups to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now they have to travel over to Florida and play the Panthers who are in the middle of a nice home stretch. The Devils lost Thursday in a shootout which isn’t terrible, but that is a lot of hockey to play and now you have a game with travel. If this was the NBA, all five starters would be rested for load management. It isn’t so we will get the full Devils squad and they will likely play tough. They did play the Panthers before and split the games with them, both times the road teams have won the game with a final score of 4-2. I expect Vitek Vanecek to be the goalie for this game. He probably gives the Devils the best chance to win, but he hasn’t been very good in March. He’s allowed at least four goals in four of his five games this month.
The Panthers are playing very good hockey right now and are on the last leg of a home stand. In those six games, they have gone 4-2 on the homestand and can close it out with another victory before they go away for a couple of games. Their one loss in their past five games came at the hands of the Jets as they fell in overtime. The most recent game against Montreal saw them put up nine goals. That game came after the Panthers enjoyed four full days off, so they should be very rested in this game. I’m also expecting that they put Sergei Bobrovsky in the net for this game. He has struggled in his last two games by allowing five goals in both of them. He was in the goal for both games against the Devils earlier this season.
I think we probably see a lot of goals in this game and I like the over 6.5 in this one. I also think the Panthers win it but I’m not sure if I want to get to the window with both plays or just the one. Either way, my bet is on the total. Let’s see the lights light up for both squads.
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