NHL Picks: Tough Defense Puts Ducks Ahead Over Senators

Bruce Webster

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 1:45 PM GMT

The Ottawa Senators meet the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Don't miss our preview for this matchup and get our best NHL picks!

Ottawa Senators vs. Anaheim Ducks
Lines: Anaheim -148/ Ottawa +134
Total: 5
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Free NHL Pick: Anaheim
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

The NHL odds are out for this game as the Ottawa Senators (20-17-2-4 SU, 20-23 PL, 19-24 OU) come in off a bad 7-1 loss to the Capitals on Sunday and have now lost seven of their last 10 games, while the Anaheim Ducks (17-17-5-2 SU, 17-24 PL, 12-21-8 OU) enter off a 2-1 home loss to Detroit, but have still won five of their last eight games. Anaheim has won six of the last eight at home in the series.

 

Sens Get Blasted in the Nation’s Capital
The Senators have struggled on offense of late, while their defense has been decent, but on Sunday they had a rough go of it at both ends of the ice in their 7-1 road loss to the Caps. It was the 2nd time in their last seven games that they allowed seven goals, but in the five games in between they had allowed a total of just 12 goals. Taking the loss for the Sens was Andrew Hammond, who had allowed three goals or less in each of his last six starts. He is currently dealing with personal issues and probably won’t get the nod in this game. Getting the call should be Craig Anderson, who is 17-16 with a 2.74 GAA on the year, while vs the Ducks he is 3-8 with a 3.25 GAA.

Scoring the lone goal in the loss to the Caps was Mike Hoffman, with his team leading 20th of the year. As I stated at the top, the Sens have struggled on offense of late as they have put up just 1.7 gpg in their last 10 games. That is a goal per game less that the 2.7 they have averaged for the season, which is 10th in the league. Their power play hasn’t been that good as they are 19th in the league, converting on just 18% of their chances. On defense the problems are big as they rank 27th in goals allowed (3.0 gpg) and 28th in penalty kill (76.2%).

 

Offensive Woes Continue In Loss to the Wings
If only the Ducks had some offense they they would be a very good team, but they don’t, so hey are not. Anaheim lost 2-1 to the Red Wings in their last game and it was the 4th time in their last six games that they scored one goal or less. Scoring the lone goal vs the Red Wings was Corey Perry, which was his team leading 16th of the year. He is just one of five players on the team that have scored six or more goals and is the only player with more than eight. Where would they be offensively without him? Well they couldn’t go any low as they rank 30th in the league in scoring, putting up just 1.9 gpg, They have been decent on the power play, where they are 11th, converting on 19.3% of their chances.

The defense for the Ducks has been very strong this year as they check in at 8th in the league in goals allowed, giving up just 2.4 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 10.3% of their power play chances, which is tops in the league. Taking the loss vs the Red Wings was John Gibson, who is now 9-8 with a very solid 1.84 GAA on the year. He should get the start in this game as well and is also 7-5 with a 1.87 GAA at home, while vs the Senators he is 0-1 with a 2.06 GAA in his career.     

 

Trends for Ottawa:
1-8 in their last nine road games
1-4 in their last five games following a loss of three or more goals

 

Trends for Anaheim:
10-2 in their last 12 games playing on two days rest
27-12 in their last 39 when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game

 

Betting Analysis
The Ducks are the NHL pick here. They have been the better team of late and they have won 11 of the last 15 in the series. The Sens are really struggling to score right now and that will not improve vs a tough defensive club like the Ducks are, especially with John Gibson in goal, which really gives the Ducks a big edge here. This one all points to the Ducks.

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