NHL Picks: New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes

By Mark Donatiello
John E. Sokolowski – US PRESSWIRE

The New Jersey Devils finally got a win in their last game. It took a shootout and an epic third-period comeback, but the Devils snapped their six-game losing streak by beating the second-worst team in the conference in a shootout.

To say the Devils aren’t playing well is an understatement. During their skid, blame could be placed on literally every facet of the game. They weren’t scoring, the defense was allowing excellent chances, Johan Hedberg was a sieve, nothing coach Peter DeBoer did worked, and the power play wasn’t producing.

The Devils nearly had their longest losing streak in 27 years.

Still, there’s hope for the team to turn things around. The root of New Jersey’s struggles is an injury to legendary goaltender Martin Brodeur, and they face a team in the Carolina Hurricanes that could be doomed to a similar fate. Saturday’s game will not feature Cam Ward or Marty, and Ward may miss the entirety of the rest of the season. Since Ward’s injury, the ‘Canes have struggled.

This is a game between two teams that are trying to endure goaltending injuries and grind out games. Look for this one to get extremely sloppy.

If the Devils can continue to play well in front of Moose, they can wait for timely scoring. If the defense, or Hedberg himself, falls into the same level of play that plagued them for most of their losing streak, the Devils are in trouble against a strong Hurricanes offense.

I think New Jersey figured it out in their last game and expect more of the same. Tight defense, decent-enough goaltending, and timely scoring should be enough to scratch out an ugly win on the road.

New Jersey Devils 3 – Carolina Hurricanes 2

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