Free NHL Picks: Ducks Powerful Defense Will Wear Out Tired Rangers

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:06 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2016 7:06 PM UTC

The Rangers take a late season road trip to try and hold off the Penguins for third in the Metro Division. The Ducks can still catch the Kings for first in the Pacific. See my NHL picks inside.  

N.Y. Rangers vs. Anaheim Ducks
The knock on the Ducks, for me, has always been their inability to light the lamp on a consistent basis.  The Ducks rank 23 rd in the league in goals per game at 2.51 and that doesn't get me excited as a potential Stanley Cup Champion. Between the two I would back the Rangers at 12/1 to win the Cup before the Ducks at 7/2. Ten days ago the hockey world was high on the Ducks as they passed the Los Angeles Kings for sole possession of first place in the Pacific.  Since then Los Angeles has passed them to lead by Anaheim by four points.

However, we are trying to get a winner tonight ?so we are going to look at this game as the single entity it is.  Every night in the NHL provides a battle, it's the one sport where I put more emphasis on a revenge spots because the margin of victory is so small.  One minor adjustment can change the course of a game.  At the end of December the Rangers took out the Ducks at Madison Square garden, 3-2, while holding the Ducks to only 19 shots.  

Despite Anaheim's season long inability to score this may be the time we see them get hot again.  Monday, they scored seven times routing the New Jersey Devils, 7-1, their highest goal total in over two years. Not good news for the Rangers who seem to be falling down the power rankings as I now have them outside the top 10. New York is starting a critical, three game, California road trip hoping to avoid a third straight loss.  To make matters worse the Ducks fourth line or checking line finished with ten points against New Jersey. Jakob Silfverberg had three goals and an assist, Ryan Kesler and Andrew Cogliano added a goal and two assist. We may be catching the Ducks at the perfect time as their streaky offense may be heating up again. Kesler was especially solid in the face-off circle as he won 19 of 23 and now has won over 58% of his draws this season ranking him among the leagues leaders. 

No problem for the Ducks on the defensive end as they are second in the league in goals allowed at 160 or 2.35 goals per game. 

Betting Analysis
?I always like to see if a team has the tendency to have a let down when they know a particular opponent is not a good road team.  The Rangers at 16-15-4 isn't under .500 in terms of the way the league keeps it's standings but those four OT/SO losses are still losses to me so they fall in this category. The Ducks are 46-21 at home against teams with a losing record.

Although the Rangers have the potential to go further, we are going to back the Ducks -149 on the NBA odds ? as our NHL picks tonight hoping to get them on a hot streak to match their powerful defense. @DanaLaneSports.

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Free NHL Pick: Anaheim -149
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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