NHL Picks: Ducks Winning Streak Ends Tonight When Meeting Penguins

Dana Lane

Monday, February 8, 2016 12:59 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 12:59 PM GMT

The scorching Ducks continue their pursuit of the Kings on the East Coast against the almost equally hot Penguins. Find out who will be in our NHL picks tonight.

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Free NHL Pick: Penguins
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Anaheim has won six straight and eight of ten, but the Ducks will have to be more consistent on the road to be considered a legitimate threat to the Kings. The Penguins are on a 6-2-2 streak and sit at number thirteen on my power ratings. Anaheim is ranked 17th. 

 

Recent Trends & History
The NHL odds for this game tonight are out as the Ducks (25-18-7 57 pts) have just completed a tough two game stretch by beating their crosstown rival, Los Angeles Kings, and then beating the Arizona Coyotes to extend their playoff lead in the West to three points. Now is a perfect spot for the Ducks to check out mentally as they fly across country to face the Penguins (26-18-7 59 pts) and Sidney Crosby who is heating up. Crosby just scored his 900th career point and has a point in 10 straight games. Crosby is the 3rd player in Penguins history to reach that mark. 

With the trade deadline upcoming, the Ducks have already made a few moves. The Ducks dealt Carl Hagelin to Pittsburgh which should add some spice to this match-up. The deal will financially benefit the Duck who freed up some cap space with the move. With their inability to consistently score, it's obvious the Ducks should be looking for some blue line depth. I'm still not convinced that the Ducks are not that inconsistent team that started the season. Typically, you'd like to see a team get stronger as games progress, but with the Ducks, it appears they grow weaker. Their shots on goal decreases with every period. 

There is also a lot of speculation surrounding Anaheim relating to whether they will move some of their young defensive talent to acquire more offensive firepower. They also have five forwards who will be unrestricted free agents after this season. Most would think that would motivate a team, but in this case, it becomes more of a hindrance and a distraction. Especially when the Penguins are focused on the catching the Penguins with the group they have.  

 

Betting Analysis
What I like the most about Pittsburgh is their ability to create quality scoring chances. No team in the league puts more pressure on opposing goaltenders. Although not perfect, they are much better than the Ducks at getting quality scoring chances deep in the offensive zone.  

As the Ducks move forward, the only question in their resurgence, can they win in the road against solid home teams. As of late, the Ducks have dropped 10 of their last 14 on the road against teams with winning home records. The Penguins are one of the best teams in this scenario, supporting a 86-34 home record against teams who are under .500 on the road. Pittsburgh hasn't been kind to Anaheim as the Ducks have lost six of their last seven at Consol Energy. The home team in this series has won 11 of their last 14 games. Consider Pittsburgh for your NHL picks.

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