NHL Picks for Ducks vs. Rangers: Sunday's Battle to Stay Under 5

David Lawrence

Sunday, March 22, 2015 11:50 AM GMT

For Sunday's best hockey pick we focus the Anaheim Ducks vs. the New York Rangers. No team has more than the 99 points the Ducks currently have but the Rangers are favored by the odds.

The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
They’re on a roll. They’ve won four straight and are playing quite well at both ends of the ice. They’ve now scored three goals or more in four of their last five games and have allowed two goals or less in five of their last six.

One of the reasons for their strong play has been goaltending as John Gibson has emerged as a true No. 1 and is leading the way these days. So far in the month of March, Gibson has a .932 save percentage and a 2.17 GAA. Normally in this series, the Rangers have an edge in net but if Gibson performs like this, the matchup will be quite even.

Anaheim won’t mind the road trip too much as they’re 21-14 on the road this season, which is among the best away records in the NHL.

 

The New York Rangers Can Win Because…
They’re pretty hard to beat these days. The Rangers won again last night in Carolina, which now makes it their sixth win in seven games. Overall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that’s hotter than them right now as they 15-2-2 in their last 19 games. Goaltender Cam Talbot is playing great right now as he has a .967 save percentage this month. He’s allowed just nine goals in seven games in March and as a team, the Rangers have allowed just 1.00 goals per game this month, which is the best in the NHL.

Anaheim does have a decent road record but they’ve been up and down on the road of late. They’ve dropped two of three on the road, giving up nine goals in the process. With the Rangers being at home in this spot, take a shot with them.

 

Outlook
It's tough to decide on the best NHL pick here, as it’s about as even as it gets. The Ducks are playing well and have been among the best teams in the NHL this season. The same goes for the Rangers, who have been outstanding of late – even with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined. While the Rangers are at home in this one, they are in a back-to-back situation after playing in Carolina last night, so that could be a factor that comes into play. Keep an eye on who’s in net for the Rangers because if Cam Talbot is rested, that hurts their chances.

But assuming he’s in net, I’m going to go with the under in this one. The Ducks have seen five goals or less in three of four while the Rangers have gone under in eight straight. Expect a low-scoring affair in this one and bet under the NHL odds total of 5 points.

NHL Picks: Under 5 at The Greek