Wild at Ducks Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/1/2013
The Minnesota Wild wrap up a quick two-game road trip in two nights with a visit to the Honda Center on Friday to face off against the Anaheim Ducks. This Western Conference clash is set to get underway at 10:00 p.m. (ET), and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.
Minnesota’s 2-1 overtime win over Calgary as a -144 home favorite this past Tuesday was its third victory in its last four games. It is now 9-7-2 on the year and just one point out of a playoff spot in the West with 20. The total has stayed “under” in six of its last eight games.
The Ducks remain in second place in the conference with 29 points as a result of an overall record of 14-3-1. They have now won six of their last eight games with a 5-1 thrashing of Nashville this past Wednesday as -130 home favorites. The total has gone “over” in their last three games.
Wild at Ducks Betting Storylines
The Wild’s road trip begins with a stop at Phoenix on Thursday night, so the quick turnaround for this matchup will be a true test of stamina given it will be their third game in four nights. Defensively, it should not be too much of an issue given that Minnesota is currently ranked eighth in the NHL in goals allowed with a goals-against average of 2.3 and a penalty kill rate of 85 percent.
The problem this season has been on the other end of the ice with a goals-per-game average of just 2.1. The addition of Zack Parise (eight goals and five assists) and Ryan Suter (11 assists) has definitely helped the cause, but the Wild’s Dany Heatley (five goals and four assists) is the only other player on the roster with more than three goals this season.
Anaheim has been firing on all cylinders right out of the gate with an offense that is knocking in 3.3 goals a game to complement a defense that is holding opponents to just 2.6 goals a game. Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in points with six goals and 15 assists, while Kyle Palmieri is the Ducks top goal scorer with seven. Balance has been the key with seven additional players tallying at least five goals so far.
Jonas Hiller has struggled in goal this season with a 3.34 GAA in eight games, but the emergence of Viktor Fasth as one of the top goaltenders in the league has helped fuel the Ducks fast start. In his first 11 NHL games, the 30-year old Swede boasts a GAA of 1.92 and a .926 save percentage.
Wild at Ducks Betting Odds and Trends
Minnesota comes into this contest as a +148 road underdog on BetOnline’s opening money line with the Ducks listed as -163 home favorites. The “over/under” for this contest has been set at 5.
The Wild are 1-4 in their last five games against a team with a winning record and 1-5 in Game 3 of their last six 3-in-4 situations. The total has stayed under in their last four games against the Pacific Division.
The Ducks are 5-1 in their last six games on one day’s rest and 21-8 in their last 29 home games. The total has stayed under in 15 of their last 22 games at home.
The road team in this series is 5-1 in the last six meetings, and the total has stayed under in the last two games. Minnesota is 7-15 in its last 22 trips to Anaheim, including a 3-1 loss on Feb.1 as a +104 road underdog.
Wild at Ducks Picks and Betting Predictions
Look for the well-rested Ducks to take full advantage of the fatigue factor in this game with Minnesota playing back-to-back nights on the road. This is a perfect opportunity to cash-in on this situation with a play on Anaheim -1.5 on the puck line, which is set at +185.
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