NHL Picks: Ducks vs. Canadiens NHL Betting Preview

David Lawrence

Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:43 AM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 11:43 AM GMT

Here we have a preview of the match between the Montreal Canadiens and the Anaheim Ducks. What should we do with these betting lines and our NHL picks?

The Anaheim Ducks had won seven in a row before running into Phil Kessel and Toronto on Tuesday night. They’ll aim to get back on track on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens as the Ducks continue a road trip through the east. The Habs also need a victory after giving away a game at home on Tuesday when they lost a 3-0 lead before falling to Edmonton. 

The Ducks have won six and tied one in their last 10 meetings with the Canadiens since 2001, with five games going under the posted total. Anaheim has also visited Montreal 10 times since 1995, winning five times and tying twice with another five games falling under the posted total. In fact, the Canadiens haven’t won on their own ice against Anaheim since a 3-1 victory back in October 2001, which is a span of four games.

The Anaheim Ducks can win because…

They can put the puck in the back of the net. The Ducks have scored 31 goals in their first nine games, led by five from Corey Perry and three players with four goals apiece. And surprisingly, that’s with Anaheim’s power play being dead last in the league. What’s going to happen when that gets back on track? They’re one heck of a challenging five-on-five team. Even though they lost Bobby Ryan to Ottawa, the Ducks don’t appear to be having any problems with scoring goals and that is going to serve them well throughout the year as well as those who back them with their NHL picks.

The Montreal Canadiens can win because… 

They have plenty of motivation after their collapse against the Oilers – especially Lars Eller, who said that Edmonton played like a junior team leading up to the game. The Oilers admitted that was their motivation and it came back to bite Eller, who leads the team with five goals. The young man is very talented but hopefully he learned his lesson and will let his play do the talking instead of his mouth.

Eller is also one of the leaders of an offense that has scored 29 goals in nine games and on the power play, the Canadiens have been on fire to start the season. Montreal has scored nine times in 37 chances, which is a 24.3% clip. If the Ducks get into penalty troubles, the Canadiens can make them pay dearly. This seems to be a much better offensive team than the one we’ve seen over the past couple of seasons from back to front and while the Ducks can also score, Montreal may have the edge in terms of skating. 

Outlook & Pick

People who make their sports picks should note that Anaheim is 5-0-0 at home this season but is just 2-2-0 on the road. Even their two road wins came by just one goal. However, Montreal isn’t a great home team (2-3-0) and is missing a number of key players. 

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I’d be more tempted to take the Ducks in this one but I see under as the best play on the NHL odds.

NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at Bet365

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