NHL Picks: Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:44 AM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 11:44 AM GMT

The Anaheim Ducks will host the Calgary Flames at the Honda Center with faceoff slated for 10:05 PM ET. Let's have a look inside to get our hockey picks all straightened out.

NHL Preview

Wednesday 10/16/2013

Calgary (3-2) @ Anaheim (4-1)

According to NHL betting odds the Ducks are a -190 money line favorite and the total is posted at 5.5. Last season Anaheim won 2 of the 3 meetings between these 2 clubs.

Rested, Willing, and Able

The Calgary Flames enter tonight’s game with a full 4 days of rest. Their last game was at home on Friday in a 3-2 win over New Jersey. The Flames are off to a pleasantly surprising start earning at least 1-point in each of their first 5-games. Their only losses were in the season opener falling 5-4 in a shootout at Washington, and at home in a 3-2 overtime defeat at the hands of Vancouver. In both losses they squandered seemingly comfortable leads, blowing a 4-1 advantage at Washington, and a 3-1 third period lead versus Vancouver. The Flames have been very productive offensively so far averaging 3.6 goals per game. Joey MacDonald will make his 5th start of the season in goal tonight. The 33-year old has a 2.98 GAA and a soft .897 save percentage in his first 4-starts. Calgary has won just 2 of their last 29-games played in Anaheim.

Dominating at the Duck Pond 

The Anaheim Ducks will be seeking their 3rd straight win at home to start the season. Anaheim opened on a bad note as they were blown out 6-1 at Colorado in their season opener. Since then the Ducks have reeled off 4 straight wins in a row outscoring the opposition by a 17-6 margin. The Ducks are averaging 3.6 goals per game and are averaging an excellent 38.6 shots on goal per contest which is 2nd best in the entire NHL. Ironically their power play ranks dead last in the league converting on a paltry 4.8% of their chances. Jonas Hiller has been solid in goal winning all 3 of his starts while posting an excellent 1.30 GAA, and a sensational .959 save percentage. Dating back to last season the Ducks are 16-5 in their last 21-games versus an opponent with a winning record.

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Both of these teams have produced plenty of offense for our NHL picks in the early going. These two clubs have combined to average 70.4 shots on goal and 7.2 goals per game thus far. Although Jonas Hiller has been excellent he will be facing an opponent that’s scored 3-goals or more in each of their first 5-games. As good as the Flames have shown offensively, they have some glaring weaknesses on defense and in goal. I like this one to play on the high side.

Free Pick: Calgary/Anaheim Over 5.5

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