NHL Picks - Anaheim On Revenge Mode Tonight

Anaheim Ducks players talking

Thursday, December 29, 2016 5:49 PM GMT

The Ducks beat Calgary in the first meeting, but in their recent meeting on December 4th, the Flames handed Anaheim a decisive defeat and tonight they are looking to turn around that score. 

2016-17 NHL Record: 37-30 .552

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Anaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames

I watched their last meeting again and was quickly reminded that the Ducks were able to apply a decent amount of pressure on Chad Johnson forcing him to make 30 saves in the victory. It was the transition game that hurt the Ducks as they looked to be skating with heavy legs.

Both teams will be missing key players but I think the Flames injuries to Troy Brouwer and Mikael Backlund hurts the most as the Flames depth is not as strong as Anaheim's. Backlund will probably play as his absence was considered a "maintenance day". I'm always skeptical when a player needs time off so let's be safe and assume he may not be 100%. Backlund took a puck off his knee on Tuesday. Those injuries can be lingering.

I expect a motivated effort from the Ducks who have dropped three straight because with a loss they will fall behind the Flames in the Pacific Division. They must better in their breakouts than they were against the Sharks Tuesday. They were never able to get offensive fluency but the Sharks do that to a lot of teams so don't put too much into what you saw on Tuesday.

Historically the Ducks have an extremely strong play against the Western Conference supporting a 48-22 record in their last 70 contest.

When we handicap we want to find teams that react well to strong offensive showings, meaning, do they continue their scoring touch or are they satisfied? The Flames are on a trend of being satisfied as they're just 3-8 the game after scoring five goals or more. Teams that lack maturity rarely continue uncharacteristic success.

The Ducks have beaten Calgary eight of their last nine contest including last year's playoffs, 37 of their last 52.

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Free NHL Pick: Anaheim Ducks +100

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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