The NHL games are coming in thick and fast, and Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils is the pick of Saturday’s matches. The Lightning has been in a deadly form of late (10-1-0), playing impressive hockey and scoring goals every time they hit the rink. The Atlantic Division playoff race looks all but set for a close encounter towards the end of the regular season, with the Lightning tipped to be the division winners. Tampa Bay is by far the most consistent team in the East, likely to extend their current winning streak to eleven games on the trot against a team that can’t buy a win.
The New Jersey Devils lie bottom of the standings in the Metropolitan Division, facing two of the Eastern Conferences’ in-form teams in the Capitals and Lightning back-to-back. It merely means that their losing streak will go on unless they perform a miracle in the next two games. Thursday night’s display against the New York Rangers proved that a lot needs to be done postseason if the Devils are to challenge for the Stanley Cup any time soon.
Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Prediction
The finer details of the matchup between Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils further stresses the gulf between the two teams. Below, we explore some of the elements that may play a key part in the game. Will the Devils be able to handle the deadly combo of Steven Stamkos and the shot-stopping brilliance of Andrei Vasilevskiy, find out in our analysis below:
- Against the Coyotes, Andrei Vasilevskiy made a total of 23 saves, which he made to look ordinary. The goaltender has been in exceptional form, being responsible for the teams wins as much as the goalscorers. He managed to keep a clean sheet in the Lightning’s 4-0 win against the Coyotes.
- Since the start of December, Lightning has the second-best record in the league of 14-4-1. In the same period, they won nine games in a row and will hope to stretch it to eleven games.
- The Devils’ bad run of games will be extended if they cannot turn their shots into goals in the next game. Against Rangers, a total of 76 shots were attempted, but only three went inside the net.
- Bottom of the table and with very little to no chances of making the playoffs, New Jersey have failed to defend both their goal as well as home rink. Thursday’s defeat was at Maddison Square Garden showed just how fallible the team’s defense is.
- The change in management has not had the desired effect after Alain Nasreddine became interim head coach on December 3. While his philosophy is quite evident, the team averaging more shots and goalscoring chances, it has all come at the cost of their defensive steel. The team’s defensive woes were compounded by the fact that they conceded five or more goals in seven of 18 games played since Dec 2019.
With all that said, it is pretty clear just how the stats paint a picture of the game. While there is no guaranteed result until the final whistle, it would take a massive effort from the Devils to win the game on Saturday.
- Moneyline – putting your money on Lightning is a sure way of getting a return on your investment as the team has demonstrated scintillating form and doesn’t look like stopping. With a ten-game winning streak on the line, they will have no trouble putting the Devils through their paces.
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