The Anaheim Ducks escaped Game 2 with a 2-1 victory, scoring the game-winning goal with 19 seconds left in the contest. Can the Jets win and cash on the NHL betting lines in Game 3 to get back in this?
The Anaheim Ducks Can win because…
They are going to be able to weather the storm. Lost in the shuffle of Game 2’s crazy ending is the fact that the Jets haven’t been able to do much offensively in this series. They’ve scored just three goals in two games and have had a really tough time creating opportunities. Even in Game 2, they were outshot 39-29, including 16-7 in the first period. Anaheim really should haven’t dominated this game on the score sheet and the only reason they didn’t is because Ondrej Pavelec stood on his head. Pavelec has now lost six of his seven career outings against Anaheim and it’s hard to expect him to turn things around.
Winnipeg will be at home for this matchup but the challenge is that this is the first playoff game since the franchise moved back to Winnipeg. Yes, the fans will be fired up and they’ll be hoping for a win but must-win does not necessarily mean will-win. There will be a lot of pressure on the Jets to deliver not only for the fans but to get back into this series. Look for Anaheim to continue to play stellar defense in front of Frederik Andersen, they’ll weather the storm and find a way to win Game 3.
The Winnipeg Jets Can win because…
This is going to be their best punch and the NHL Odds are favoring them -125 on the Money Line. The bottom line is if they lose Game 3, this series is over. They are going to come out with epic intensity and playing at home is only going to help their energy. While they’ve had a tough time scoring, look for them to be aggressive, to play with fire and to generate good quality opportunities in this one.
It’s worth noting that Winnipeg is a stronger home team than they are on the road. They were just 20-21 in away games compared to 23-18 in home games. They were sixth in NHL scoring at home with 3.05 goals per game, which is a stark contrast from the 2.39 goals per game they scored on the road (20th in the NHL).
Keep in mind when making your NHL picks: this is a must-win game for Winnipeg. Expect them to somehow, some way come away with the win.
The Jets came very close to evening up the series in Game 2 but it still doesn’t look like they’re on Anaheim’s level. They can’t seem to find their offense and they’ve been outplayed and outshot in both games so far. Look for more of the same in Game 3. This is probably going to be a high-scoring affair but I like Anaheim to weather the early rush and end up stealing Game 3.
NHL Pick: Ducks +113 at Pinnacle