On Thursday, April 26th, the Florida Panthers will take on the New Jersey Devils in NHL betting action, as the two teams vie for a spot in the second round of the playoffs.
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The Devils are clearly the team with more experience in this series, and they finally looked like they flipped a switch and played the role of the better of these two teams on Tuesday night. New Jersey clearly was the better side for the majority of Game 6, and though Florida did claw back and wipe away a two-goal deficit, just looking at the raw stats shows that the 3-2 win in OT for the Devils was deserved. The men that got on the board for the Devils included Travis Zajac, who had the overtime winner, and Ilya Kovalchuk, who not only assisted on the game-winning goal, but he also scored in the second period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead on the power play. These two are crucial for this series, but the calming force is still the play in net of Martin Brodeur. This hasn’t been the greatest series for the future Hall of Famer, but he has gotten the job done in the tight games for the most part, and in spite of the fact that he only stopped 14 of the 16 shots that he faced over the course of the game, it was good enough to win and put himself in yet another crucial Game 7.
Believe it or not, in the over two decades of hockey that the Panthers have played, this is just the second time that they have ever played in a Game 7 in franchise history. They beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 1996, but that game came on the road. This is the first time that South Florida has ever seen an NHL Game 7, and it should be intense. Jose Theodore was a very interesting late scratch for the Panthers in Game 6, and it showed, as Scott Clemmensen really didn’t look as comfortable in net as Theodore did in Game 5. Theodore reportedly has a knee injury, though the team has not disclosed that information. That being said, there is a big difference between the young Clemmensen getting the start and Theodore, especially after the latter posted a shutout when these two teams last played in this building a few nights ago. Florida just doesn’t have the offense to get into a shootout with the Devils, and that means that whomever is in net is going to have to be a star.
New Jersey Devils @ Florida Panthers Pick: In the end, we think that the Devils finally got the wakeup call that they needed. They are going to come on the road and silence the “Rat Pack” in the Sunshine State and move onto the next round of the playoffs in what should be a fantastic Game 7.
Free Hockey Pick: New Jersey Devils
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.