It’s become a War of Attrition
The Ducks will host the Stars on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with the opening faceoff slated for 10:35 PM ET. This will be Game 5 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series which is all tied up at 2-2. According to NHL betting odds the Ducks are a -160 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The home team is a perfect 4-0 in the series thus far.
Battling their Way Back
The Dallas Stars hosted a Stanley Cup Playoff game for the first time in 6-years in Game 3 of this series. They certainly didn’t disappoint their fans with a workmanlike 3-0 win. After being less than stellar in the first 2-games of the series, Kari Lehtonen bounced back in a big way in Game 3, and it couldn’t have come at a better time with his team down 2-0 in the series. Lehtonen stopped all 37 Anaheim shots on goal to earn the shutout win. Game 4 of the series took on a whole different twist. The Stars trailed 2-0 after one period, and then scored 4 unanswered goals to come away with a 4-2 win, and turn this into a best-of-3 series heading back to Anaheim. The Stars have to find a way to steal a win at the Honda Center if they’re to entertain any thoughts of upsetting the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Dallas has gone just 17-26 on the road this season.
Needing to Regroup at
The Anaheim Ducks were feeling pretty good about themselves after jumping out to a 2-0 series lead. However, after a couple of less than stellar performances at Dallas, they’re now involved in a dogfight of a playoff series versus the Western Conference #8 seed. One area of utmost concern is the health status of their captain Ryan Getzlaf who was a late scratch for Game 4. Getzlaf led the team in scoring during the regular season, and was also the team leader during these playoffs in that category as well. He suffered a facial injury after blocking a shot late in the opening game of the series that’s had a lingering effect. He’s listed as questionable for Game 5. Speaking of questionable, who will the Ducks turn to in goal for this pivotal Game 5? Frederik Anderson started the first 4-games of the series, but was pulled from Wednesday’s game after surrendering 4-goals on 25-shots. He was replaced by the veteran Jonas Hiller who started 50-games for the Ducks this season, and had one stretch during the year in which he won 11 consecutive starts. The Ducks can take solace in knowing they return to the Honda Center where they’ve gone an outstanding 31-12 this season.
NHL Betting System
Any home team with a total of 5.5 that’s playing in the 2nd half of the season, and is coming off a road loss, they have a money line winning percentage of .600 to .700 on the season, versus an opponent with a losing record against the money line on the year, has seen 51 of those 77-games (66.2%) go under the total during the past 18 seasons.
Free Pick: Stars/Ducks to go under the total of 5.5