NHL Western Conference Finals Game 1: Ducks vs Predators - Free Pick

Nashville vs Anaheim NHL

Dana Lane

Friday, May 12, 2017 8:20 PM UTC

Friday, May. 12, 2017 8:20 PM UTC

The Anaheim Ducks slid through to the third round with a seven-game victory over the Edmonton Oilers but will they be able to crank up the intensity again shortly after,  NHL analyst Dana Lane has your answers.

Final Regular Season NHL Selection Record: 87-73   .544     +16.95 units

Postseason Record:    12-12   .500   +3.31   units

Overall:    99-85   .538      +20.26 units

Once again we stare at a series between the Predators and Ducks, as we did last season, but this year a trip to the Stanley Cup is at stake. 

The first order of business is how each team will take their second round success and apply it to the conference finals.  The Nashville Predators wrapped up their series against the St. Louis Blues last Sunday while the Ducks ended their series against Edmonton on Wednesday.  Can the Ducks crank up the intensity level so quickly?  For these reasons I’m going to stay away from picking a side but uncertainty equals ‘overs’ so that’s where I’m placing my money tonight.

Its easy to get caught up in how much scoring the Predators are getting from their blue-liners, led by Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis who are tied for the team lead with four playoff goals. To compliment Josi and Ellis is the line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson have scored nine even strength goals in the postseason, more than any other line according to Corsica.hockey.

Of course, the Ducks will bring experience and a newly found offensive game.  Heading into the postseason I figured it was going to be the same old Ducks who play defense with offense hard to come by.  That hasn’t been the case. Besides the Penguins, Anaheim is the only team to have two players listed in the postseason scoring top 10 (Getzlaf 15pts/11 games, Silfverberg 11 pts, 11gms).

They've contributed to a Ducks team that has generated more scoring chances (315) than any other postseason participant 5 on 5. 

 All this with the Ducks power play sitting at dismal 13.9 success rate. 

Imagine where they could be if their special teams start to get in the act.

Game one is usually a getting to know you affair, filled with offensive chances until both teams get a better idea on how to shut down the other.  Let’s gran the ‘over’ tonight to get this series started on the right foot. 

Also, keep checking SBR's NHL Odds Page for the best available number on tonight’s NHL Pick.

Free NHL Pick: Over 5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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