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Devils vs. Kraken prediction: NHL odds, picks

The New Jersey Devils have quieted the doubters. 

After struggling to a 3-8-2 stretch through the middle of December and January, the Devils have won five games on the spin and are on the verge of sweeping a five-game road trip.

Standing in the way of the sweep is the Seattle Kraken, who have lost two in a row after an eight-game winning streak.

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Devils vs. Kraken prediction (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

As impressive as this run from the Devils has been, there are some reasons to be slightly concerned with how New Jersey is actually playing. Over their last 10 games, the Devils have posted a 50.3% expected goals rate and a 52.9% high-danger chance rate at 5-on-5. Those numbers pale in comparison to New Jersey’s season-long numbers of 56.8% and 58.6%. 

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So how are the Devils piling up the wins without tilting the ice like they did when they were running roughshod through the league? They’re scoring on 10.6% of their shots at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest rate in the NHL over their last 10 games, and have a team save percentage of .912, which is the seventh-highest mark in that span.

The Devils are a deep offensive team with plenty of high-end skill players at the top of the roster, so a high shooting percentage isn’t outlandish. Still, the goaltending has been so inconsistent throughout this season that it’s fair to be skeptical of how long this will hold up.

Betting on the NHL?

The Kraken are in a similar conundrum. No team in the NHL has a better shooting percentage than Seattle, but this is another deep offense that gets scoring from all four lines. Seattle’s goaltending, though, is a definite cause for concern on most nights, but it shouldn’t be a significant factor going up against another team that hopes for good netminding rather than expecting it. 

This is also a bit of a tricky spot for the Devils. They’ve been on the road for 10 days and this is their last contest before flying back East to play a divisional rival over the weekend. 

The Devils are the better team, and it’s not surprising that they’re favored on the road. Still, there’s enough going against New Jersey to suggest that this is a sell-high spot against a formidable opponent that has generally been playing solid hockey over the last four weeks.

Devils vs. Kraken pick

Kraken +115 (bet365)

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