Anaheim Ducks are the hottest team in the NHL at the moment; they won six straight games and lost only twice in last ten matches. The situation is entirely different in Edmonton; the Oilers lost five in a row and recorded just two wins in last ten games. The Ducks are the big favorites in this clash, and I am backing them to defeat Edmonton.
The hosts scored 23 goals in last five duels, and a single goal was enough to see off Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. After a bad form at the beginning of the season, Anaheim found their rhythm lately and right now they’re looking like a legit playoff team. They are sitting at the 5th place in the West, but with more than 20 games to go, victory is an imperative against the weakest team in the conference. The Ducks won four out of last five head-to-head clashes, and they’re leading the season series 2-1. The previous game was at Edmonton, ten days ago, and Anaheim scored five goals in a 5:3 win. Odds are 1.4 with bwin, but the players can take a -1.5 spread at 2.20 with the same bookies. As for the goals, over 4.5 at 1.57 seem to be a most logical choice. The fact that Edmonton allowed 19 goals in last five doesn’t sound right for them here, and I assume their defensive woes will continue in California.
Only Columbus Blue Jackets have allowed more goals than the Oilers. Edmonton conceded 188 goals in 61 games so far. Their attack is the second most inefficient in the West, and judging by the current situation at the club, I can see them staying at the bottom for the remainder of the season. With 101 goals conceded away from home, and five straight defeats at their ice, I would be surprised if Anaheim fails to score at least four goals.
Anaheim Ducks vs Edmonton Oilers one year back
The Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf (8G 40A) and Corey Perry (23G 18A), are the team’s best players this season. Rickard Rakell (15G 18A), Ryan Kesler (13G 20A), Sami Vatanen (9G 22A), and David Perron (10G 20A) are the solid contributors as well. Chris Stewart is sidelined for Anaheim, but other than him, the Ducks are complete.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed 12 games due to an arm injury, and his absence is evident in the young Oilers team. He started to skate again a few days ago, but will be out for this match. Taylor Hall (20G 32A) is having a very nice season, and he lead the team in both goals and assists categories. Leon Draisaitl (15 G 27A), Jordan Eberle (19G 17A), and Benoit Pouliot (14G 21A) could create a bit of a disarray in Anaheim’s third. Ference, Gryba, and Klefbom are injured defenders, so Edmonton’s defense is even weaker.