Our NHL playoff totals are 2-for-2 in the ‘Push’ column and we have another play tonight in Game 1 of the series between the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers
New Jersey swept the Panthers in four-straight the last time these clubs met in the postseason (2000) and many are expecting a similar outcome in 2012
Devils vs. Panthers, Friday April 13th – Florida won its way into the postseason as Southeast division champs but they have become early doormats for nearly everyone’s playoff pool and NHL odds, which opened at Devils -180, are now posting at Devils -192 to win the series.
It’s the Panthers first postseason since 2000 and they’ll face a familiar foe in net tonight when Marty Brodeur takes the ice for New Jersey. Brodeur was the one who finished the Panthers 12 years ago and some think this will be his final season.
Brodeur was 1-2 vs. the Panthers in 2011-12 and has a 37-16-8 record vs. the Panthers all-time with 2.03 goals against average and .916 save percentage. It’s still not 100-percent certain who will start for the Panthers but the heavy lean is on Jose Theodore, who was 22-16-11 this season with 2.46 GAA and .917 SV.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer spent the last three years in Florida so you could say he knows a thing or two about the franchise, but he couldn’t figure out how to get them into the playoffs. DeBoer was 17-5 on puckline plays this year when avenging a loss and that produced a profit of plus-17.5 units, something to consider if you like the favorite. Pinnacle Sports offers New Jersey -1.5 (+295).
Not including shootouts, Florida scored just 20 goals in its last 10 regular season games and the knock on this team is that that they will not be able to find the extra gear needed to win straight-up in the playoffs. The Devils allowed just four goals in their final four games and New Jersey has posted just 2 overs in the past 15 road games after shutting down back-to-back opponents. Brodeur looks good and the Devils mean business, and that doesn’t usually add up to a lot of scoring.
Pick: Take the Under