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02/10 - Carolina Hurricanes @ New Jersey Devils
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes ML -140
Carolina is on a bit of a tear coming into this one as they've won 3 straight games and 5 of their last 6 with the only loss coming to the 34-15-6 Flames. They've been dominant, outscoring their opponents 26-13 in their last 6 (taking decisive victories over Vegas and Pittsburgh along the way), averaging a whopping 4.33 goals scored per game while allowing just 2.17 on the other end. They've been great on the road and have won 4 consecutive contests away from home and I think they'll be licking their chops coming into New Jersey to face a reeling Devils team that's dropped three straight games, scoring just 4 goals in those contests. They're near the bottom of the league in points and just traded away Brian Boyle, and their offense has been really lackluster lately and I don't see them bucking this against the 8th-ranked Carolina defense. This is bad news as they allow the 5th-most goals on the other end and will face a red-hot Canes offense. As I've mentioned in past writeups, Carolina's been weirdly good on short rest this year and especially recently, as they've won 7 straight games when playing their third match in four days. The same can't be said of the Devils, who lost to the Wild just yesterday and have lost 7 of their last 8 games on zero days' rest, 7 straight games when playing their fourth match in six days, and I don't see them bringing enough firepower to keep up with a rolling Canes team.
Petr Mrazek is getting the nod in goal for Carolina today and and he's coming off a shutout of the Rags in his last start on Friday and has a 2.25 GAA in his last 4 appearances. He's won 4 of his 5 career starts against the Devils with a 2.01 GAA in those games and I think he can continue his strong performance against them tonight especially given the anemic state of the New Jersey offense right now. Meanwhile, Keith Kinkaid is starting in net for the Devils and he's been reaaaaaal bad lately, losing 6 of his last 7 starts with a dreadful 3.86 GAA in those games, and I think the Canes have an opportunity to feast today.