NHL Picks: Sharks vs. Ducks

David Schwab

Monday, February 4, 2013 2:05 PM GMT

The San Jose Sharks will try and widen their lead in the Pacific Division when it tangles with the Anaheim Ducks this Monday night at the Honda Center.

NHL Game Preview and Pick- San Jose Sharks at the Anaheim Ducks

 Year-to-Date NHL Record: 10-2-1

The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. (PT) and it will be available on NHL Center Ice.

Sharks Overview

The Sharks remain near the top of the Western Conference standings with 15 points after posting a 7-0-1 record in their first eight games. They are coming off a 2-1 loss to Nashville in a shootout this past Saturday as 187 home favorites. It was the first time all season they were held to just one goal but the total has stayed UNDER in their last five games.

The fast start can be attributed an offense that is averaging 3.5 goals a game that complements a defense that is ranked first in the NHL in goals allowed as noted in SBR Forum’s NHL matchup report. Behind a strong performance by Antti Niemi between the pipes, San Jose has given-up an average of just 1.6 goals in its first eight games. He comes into this matchup with a save percentage of .936. Patrick Marleau has done most of the damage on the other end of the ice with nine goals and five assists.

Ducks Overview

Anaheim improved to 5-1-1 on the year with a 7-4 pasting of Los Angeles this past Saturday as a 104 home underdog. Nick Bonino scored on a power play midway through the third period to post a hat trick on the night. Overall, the Ducks have been even more potent at putting the puck in the net with an average of 3.7 goals a game. Daniel Winnik leads the team with five goals and Teemu Selanne is the point’s leader with three goals and six assists.

Defensively, the Ducks have given-up seven goals in their last three games including a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose as 142 road underdogs on Jan.29. Overall, they are ranked 20th in the league in goals allowed; giving-up an average of 3.0 a game. The goal tending duties have been split between Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth. Fasth has the better numbers of the two by far with a GAA of 1.44 to go along with a .938 save percentage.

[gameodds]7/218211/43/us[/gameodds]

Sharks vs. Ducks Betting Lines and Trends

The NHL odds boards have opened with the Sharks as 107 favorites on the road while listing the Ducks as 103 underdogs at home on its money line. It set the total for this game at 5.5.

The Sharks are 5-1 in their last six games on one day’s rest and 5-2 in their last seven games on the road. The total has stayed under in five of their last six games against a team with a winning record.

The Ducks have won just three of their last 12 games following a win but they are 17-8 in their last 25 home games. The total has stayed under in 15 of their last 22 games at home.

Head-to-head in this matchup, San Jose has lost six of the last eight meetings and is 2-5 in its last seven trips to Anaheim. The total has stayed under in six of the last seven meetings overall.

Sharks vs. Ducks

Despite the fact that both teams come into this matchup averaging well over three goals a game, look for another low-scoring battle on Monday night. The free NHL pick in this Pacific Division showdown goes to the Ducks, who find a way to avenge the earlier loss on the road to San Jose.

Free NHL Pick: Anaheim 3 - San Jose 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)