Today's Free Picks for
Game 3 - posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:35 PM EST. OT included. If you just read the box scores, it looks like Tampa Bay is dominating the Devils, but on the ice, it's been a much different story. The Lightning benefited greatly from some very porous goaltending on the New Jersey side. Regardless, posting five goals in back-to-back games is going to garner attention from the market and we’re once again the beneficiaries of the premium one will pay to back Tampa based on the overreaction to the lopsided results to start this series.
The Keith Kinkaid experiment is over for the Devils after he gave up nine goals on 46 shots through the first two games. Both New Jersey and Washington decided to sit their number ones in favor of a hot understudy and both clubs are down 0-2. Kinkaid's play was deflating to say the least. Every time the Devils would push back, the puck would be in their own net in no time at all. That kind of play can demoralize any bench. Enter Cory Schneider, who came in and mopped up the mess after a four-goal second period by the Lightning in Game 2. Schneider stopped all 10 shots he faced and was a revelation for his teammates. That performance likely did a lot to boost the confidence of the Devils' players and Schneider, who hasn't won a game since December 27th. Head coach John Hynes was forced to play an extra defensemen in Game 2 to make up for the Devils' deficiencies in net, but he spoke very highly of his number one, which means Jersey is likely to roll four full lines tonight. The return of Marcus Johansson will make those changes much easier for the Devils. Johansson skated with Pavel Zacha and Patrick Maroon during New Jersey's morning practice and this will be his first game since January 23rd. There were times in Tampa when the Devils were the much better team on the ice, but could not get a save. In the second half of game Game 1, the Devils outshot the Lightning 44-25. New Jersey also had a jump in its step in the third period of Game 2 after Schneider took over in the crease. Of course, the Bolts were protecting a comfortable lead so the shots on net are skewed but it goes to the Devils not giving up. It’s also worth noting that the Devils had 25 scoring chances overall in Game 2 and they figure to be much better back at The Rock tonight.
We had a watch and see approach to this series, as we had our concerns about Kinkaid in goal but from our vantage point, the Bolts continue to give up far too many scoring chances and while they can bury pucks like nobody else, their defensive deficiencies make the dog worthy of some consideration here to get back into this series.
Please note: We have leans posted daily on Twitter and you can follow us there for leans, possible late plays or any other info we might have to pass along.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
NEW JERSEY +123 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.46)