NHL Picks: Ducks vs. Flames

David Lawrence

Monday, January 21, 2013 5:41 PM GMT

The Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks have both started the season in different fashions. Where should we place our NHL picks when these two teams collide tonight?

While the Anaheim Ducks were very impressive in a 7-3 win in Vancouver over the Canucks on Saturday, the Flames were disappointing in a 4-1 home loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

Some people weren’t sure what to make of either team prior to the start of the season but one game has given us a good indication. The NHL odds makers have set this game as a PICK as the Ducks continue their west coast swing through Canada on Monday.

Check out our NHL Picks of the Day for more betting advice on tonight's matchups.

Record: 7-5 (+225)

The Anaheim Ducks can win because… 

They are a surprisingly good team, and they could possibly stir up some noise in the NHL's Western Conference. There were question marks about their secondary scoring and their blue line prior to the season starting but a 7-3 win over Vancouver has eased those worried minds. The top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan totaled just three points as the Ducks tallied seven goals. The ageless wonder, Teemu Selanne, had four points as the Ducks chased Canucks starter Cory Schneider.

The task should be much easier on Monday against the hapless Flames. Calgary doesn’t have much in the way of offense as they are far too reliant on a past-his-prime Jarome Iginla. Iggy doesn’t even have top-line talent to play with, so the Ducks should have an easy time keeping the Flames under wraps. On top of that, Iginla is also recovering from a groin injury and while he looked fine on Sunday, a quick turnaround will test his health.

Calgary took six penalties on Sunday night and now find themselves with short rest on a quick turnaround. They’ll continue to struggle as a confident Ducks team comes to town.

The Calgary Flames can win because…

Sunday night was just a mulligan. The Flames started positively as they took an early 1-0 lead on the San Jose Sharks but everything went sour quickly. Before they knew it, they were down 3-1 and weren’t able to dig themselves out of it. The Flames should put forth a better effort on Monday night. 

The Flames started really well as they outshot the Sharks 16-9 in the first period and held a one-goal lead. New head coach Bob Hartley will preach to the team that this is the type of effort he’s looking for. The Flames were outshot 14-4 in the second and gave up three goals. In all, they only played one bad period but it cost them. 

This is a veteran team that knows how to bounce-back. They know what needs to be done and having a short turnaround here won’t hamper them as much as it would in the middle of the season. They’ll be itching to play better and they’ll get that chance on Monday.

[gameodds]7/218121/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

The Ducks typically play well against Calgary and that shouldn’t change on Monday. The Ducks have won six of the last eight meetings and should make it seven of nine. Even though they are on the road, they are a playoff-caliber team and the Flames are not. 

NHL Picks: Ducks -104