Free NHL Picks Today: Florida Panthers vs New Jersey Devils 3/18/23

Free NHL Picks Today: Florida Panthers vs New Jersey Devils 3/18/23
Sat 18th March 2023

Two of the league’s top offenses are set to face off at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, as the Florida Panthers (34-27-7) host the New Jersey Devils (44-17-7). New Jersey is coming off a 4-3 shootout loss against the Lightning on Thursday.

The Devils took advantage of their power play opportunities, scoring once on four shots, while also conceding a power play goal. Timo Meier was the top goalscorer for the Devils with two goals. Akira Schmid saved only 21 of 24 shots against (.875%) in the loss.

Florida is playing their last of seven games at home after an exciting 9-5 win over the Canadiens on Thursday. Carter Verhaeghe and Aaron Ekblad both scored twice for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky surrendered five goals on 30 shots (.833%).


The teams have split their two meetings this season, the most recent of which was a 4-2 victory for the Devils in December. Jesper Bratt (2G 0A) and Dougie Hamilton (0G 2A) each had two points to lead New Jersey. Eetu Luostarinen and Eric Staal were on the scoresheet for Florida. MacKenzie Blackwood got the win, saving 34 of 36 shots (.944%).


New Jersey is averaging 3.49 goals per game for the season, fourth in the NHL, and they are taking on a Panthers team that is allowing 3.38 goals a game (23rd).

Meanwhile, Florida has found the net 3.47 times a game on average, fifth in the league, and will be looking to overpower the Devils’ stout defense, which is holding opponents to 2.66 goals per game (4th).

Both teams average more shots/game than most teams in the league. Florida’s 36.9 average ranks first, while New Jersey ranks No. 4 with 34.3 shots. When it comes to stopping shots, the Devils have been more successful with a team save percentage of .909% (11th), while the Panthers have stopped .901% of shots as a team (20th).

Expect a few power play opportunities for the Devils, as the Panthers have been penalized 4.75 times a game, most in the NHL, for an average of 12.01 minutes (second-highest). The visitors are averaging 3.35 penalties (3rd-fewest in the league) and 7.65 penalty minutes a game (4th-fewest).

The Panthers’ 21.74% power play percentage ranks 14th in the league, while the Devils are 19th with a conversion rate of 20.94%. Florida has been less impressive at penalty killing, as the hosts own the league’s fifth-lowest PK% at 73.88%. New Jersey’s 81.96% ranks 10th in the NHL.


With 81 points this season, Jack Hughes is the top skater for the Devils. He is among the league leaders with 37 goals (10th) and has added 44 assists. In the net, Vitek Vanecek (28-8-3) is New Jersey’s top goaltender.

He has a 2.52 GAA and a .908% save percentage.Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers in scoring with 91 points (4th in the league). He has 31 goals and 60 assists (5th). Bobrovsky (22-17-3) has the best goals against average for Florida at 3.03. He has a save percentage of .903%.


New Jersey has won three in a row away from home this season. Florida is 20-10-4 at home this season.

SportsTips’ NHL Pick:

Florida Panthers (-115)

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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.

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