The saying “that is why they play the games” is made for Thursday’s matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils.
The Vegas Golden Knights are one of the highest-scoring road teams in the NHL while New Jersey is tied for 21st in the league with just five regulation wins on home ice. Can the struggling Devils find a way to pull off the upset against a Vegas team that has won four of its last six games in New Jersey?
The early total of 5½ goals seemed like an early Christmas gift with the way the Golden Knights score goals, especially on the road. It is now at six but that still looks like a good value.
Game: Vegas Golden Knights (17-11-0) vs New Jersey Devils (10-12-5)
Location: Prudential Center
Day/Time: Thursday, December 16, 7:00 p.m. ET
Golden Knights vs Devils Betting Lines
No Droughts When Golden Knights Hit Road
Considering where the franchise is located, it seems fitting that the Vegas Golden Knights are high on entertainment value.
While other teams are fine with 2-1 defensive battles, that is not how many of the Vegas games play out. That is especially true on the road. The Golden Knights rank second behind only defensively challenged Edmonton in goals per game on the road as well as combined goals for and goals against in road games.
That trend started early as Vegas outscored Colorado 7-4 in its second road game of the season. The winning team has scored at least five times in eight of the first 12 road games for the Golden Knights. Vegas has scored 21 goals in its last four road contests.
Chandler Stevenson leads the way with team-leading marks of eight assists and 14 points in 12 road games. Defensemen Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo have combined for six goals and 13 assists. That trio is also a combined +18. It should be noted that Stephenson and Theodore are considered to be day-to-day as Vegas continues to have injury woes.
Despite missing two road games, Jonathan Marchessault leads the Golden Knights with seven road goals. Max Pacioretty has five goals and two assists on the road despite missing seven of 12 away games.
Pacioretty scored twice and Marchessault had a power-play goal as Vegas rolled to a 4-1 win at Boston on Tuesday night to improve to 7-5 on the road.
Pacioretty has scored goals in a franchise-record seven games in a row and has points in nine straight games, tying a franchise record. Sure, the Vegas franchise is only a few years old but it is still a pretty impressive roll for the veteran winger.
Max Pacioretty extended his goal streak to seven games, scoring twice for the Golden Knights in a 4-1 win against the Bruins.https://t.co/diMllanLHi
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) December 15, 2021
Devils Seeking Cure to Power Outage
The New Jersey Devils were expected to be an improved team after fortifying their defensive corps and waiting for the next step to be taken by a talented group of forwards.
However, the Devils are 12th in the Eastern Conference with 25 points. So what is holding this New Jersey team back?
An almost invisible power play would be the best place to start. In the last 13 games, New Jersey is 1 for 32 with the man advantage. Only the Arizona Coyotes have fewer power-play goals than the nine scored by the Devils.
The nine power-play goals would rank behind the league-leading total of 13 by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl while Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers has 10.
Former No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes has been limited to just nine games. He has two goals and two assists in his six games back from injury. He was expected to carry much of the offensive load along with Yegor Sharangovich, a 16-goal scorer a season ago. However, the duo has combined for just eight goals in 34 games. Sharangovich won’t play on Thursday.
Ryan Graves, one of the defensemen acquired by New Jersey in the offseason, is on injured reserve, as is center and team captain Nick Hischier.
The Devils have gone over the Las Vegas odds total in seven of their last 10 games.
Golden Knights vs Devils Final Pick
The best way of snapping a three-game losing streak would not include facing a star-studded Vegas Golden Knights team but that is the situation New Jersey finds itself in.
New Jersey has scored two goals or less in four of its last five games and is 0-8-2 in its last games when scoring two goals or less.
Those who bet online would certainly be interested to note that the total has gone over in seven of the Golden Knights’ last eight road games. This one could head that way as well.