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Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils Betting Preview

Two teams headed in the opposite direction in the standings meetup on Thursday night at the Prudential Center. The New Jersey Devils (10-3-0) are the hottest team in the NHL, going 10-1 over their last 11, which has them atop the Metropolitan Division with 20 points.

The Ottawa Senators (4-8-0) have the second-fewest points in the league (8) and have dropped their last six games. The Senators have had a lead or have been tied at some point during each of their six losses, so perhaps they aren’t as bad as that mark would indicate?

Either way, oddsmakers have the Devils as a big -184 favorite for this meeting.

Ottawa Winless On the Road

To their credit, the Senators aren’t getting blown out during their slump, with three of their losses coming by one goal and all by two or fewer. Oddsmakers seem to think Ottawa can turn things around, making them favorites the last two games – although those both ended up as losses, 2-1 to Philadelphia (-178) and 6-4 to Vancouver (-119).

One thing to note about the Senators being favored the last two games is that they were playing at home. Now the club heads out for a quick two-game road trip trying to snap an 0-4 mark away from the Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators might be up against it on Thursday, considering they are allowing 3.7 goals/game (27th), and New Jersey has a top-five offense in both goals (3.6) and shots (37.6). Cam Talbot has started the last two games in net after Anton Forsberg allowed 13 goals in his previous three starts.

It’s Looking Like Eight Straight

The Devils haven’t won eight straight since February of 2011, so they want to get to that mark with a win on Thursday. New Jersey has been on an absolute tear since two season-opening losses at Philadelphia and at home against Detroit, both by the score of 5-2.

What’s really been impressive about New Jersey’s run is that they lost goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood on November 3rd to a knee injury, but Vitek Vanecek has stepped in to guide the team to the last three wins. Overall, Vanecek has a personal six-game win streak while holding opponents to two goals or less in five of those.

The Devils look like a complete team early in this young season, as their defense is sixth in goals allowed (2.5) and first in fewest shots given up (24.6), to go along with a solid offense averaging 4.28 goals/game during their win streak.

Senators at Stars Betting Pick

Even though Ottawa has done a fairly good job of keeping games close, they just don’t have the closing talent. On the other hand, New Jersey is red hot, with Vanecek posting a 2.18 GAA on the season and the hometown crowd amped up to see an eighth straight win. The Devils are 5-2 on their own ice, while Ottawa remains winless on the road.

The Devils get number eight in a row here, and not only that, they get it back in the 4-1 or 5-2 range.

Pick: New Jersey -1.5 (+135)

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