NHL picks: Penguins vs. Devils, Stars vs. Red Wings

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

March 18th, 2021

It’s another busy Thursday night in the NHL, with 10 games on the docket. We scoured the market, crunched the numbers, and came up with our two best bets for the evening.

First, we’ll preview a nationally-televised matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. Then it’s onto a midwest meeting between the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings.

Pittsburgh Penguins (18-10-1) at New Jersey Devils (9-13-4), 7:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN

Thu, March 18 2021, 11:00 PM

NJ Devils






O 6

PIT Penguins






U 6

The Penguins and Devils will meet for the first time this season at the Prudential Center for the opener of a three-game series. The timing could not be worse for the skidding Devils, as the Penguins have been on a roll.

Pittsburgh had a six-game winning streak going into Tuesday’s matchup with the Boston Bruins, which they lost 2-1. It was their third game in a four-night span. Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel were both held off the scoresheet on Tuesday – a rare occurrence. The pair combined for eight goals and nine assists during the Penguins’ recent win streak.

The Pens have also received fantastic goaltending from Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith over their last seven games, with the pair combining to stop 193 of the 204 shots they’ve seen – a save % of .946.

Meanwhile, New Jersey has lost 12 of its last 15 games, with two of those wins coming against the bottom-feeding Buffalo Sabres. The Devils’ leading scorer is Pavel Zacha with just 17 points, and he may be held out of this game with an undisclosed injury suffered on Tuesday night. He missed practice on Wednesday.

NHL Free Pick: Penguins -1.5 goals (+138)


Dallas Stars (9-9-7) at Detroit Red Wings (9-17-4), 7:30 p.m. ET

Neither the Stars nor the Red Wings are considered offensive dynamos, but these two clubs could combine for an Over when they meet at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday night.

Dallas has dropped four of their last six contests, allowing four goals in each of those losses. The Stars have suffered from a leaky penalty kill of late, allowing opponents to cash in on five of their last 15 chances (33.3%). Detroit has scored at least one power play goal in six of their last eight overall, so this has to be an area of concern for Dallas head coach Rick Bowness.

The Red Wings have helped Over bettors cash in seven of their last nine contests. Their defense has been porous in this stretch, allowing 3.67 goals per game. The Stars have scored a solid 3.25 goals per contest over an eight-game span.

NHL Free Pick: Over 5.5 goals (+120)