The NHL has another great slate of games throughout Wednesday night. Six games are up on the board throughout March 3. One of these games will be between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 9:30 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
St. Louis has put up a record of 12-8-2 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in second place of the West Division. The Blues have won back to back games, but had lost three in a row before these two wins. St. Louis will look to keep this winning streak up in this one. The Blues have been a solid team and will look to earn a big win as they try to get closer to the top of the West.
The Ducks have started out this season with a record of 6-11-5, which has them in last place of the West Division. Anaheim has struggled to get anything going this season. The Ducks have lost seven in a row entering this one and will look to finally turn it around. Anaheim has kept a lot of their games close in this losing streak and will look to finally break through with a win.
These two teams are on opposite sides of the West standings, but I expect a good game between these two. St. Louis has been much better and are starting to build up a winning streak. The Ducks have hit a wall as of late and need to find a way out of this funk. I expect Anaheim to try and come out quickly as they look to pull off the upset in this one.
The Blues and the Ducks have met up three times so far this season. Anaheim hosted the first game on January 30. Max Jones scored the lone goal for the Ducks, which was not nearly enough. Jordan Kyrou had two goals and an assist on the night, while David Perron had a goal and an assist. Brayden Schenn added two assists. Jordan Binnington stopped 23 of 24 shots as St. Louis grabbed a 6-1 win.
The second game of the season series stayed in Anaheim on January 31. Jakob Silverberg opened up the scoring for the Ducks, but once again it was not enough. Brayden Schenn scored twice on the night, while Sammy Blais and Colton Parayko both tallied goals as well. Ville Husso finished with 25 saves on 26 shots as the Blues grabbed a 4-1 win.
Anaheim also hosted the third game of the season series on March 1. Isac Lundestrom had a hat trick for the Ducks, while Rickard Rakell had two assists. Anaheim still could not break through with a win. Zach Sanford had two goals and an assist on the night. Justin Faulk had two assists on the night as well to help St. Louis grab a 5-4 win on the road.
St. Louis has won five games in a row against the Ducks and will look to keep it going in this one. The Blues dominated the first two games of the season series, but Anaheim almost came back in the third game. The Ducks will look to build upon their third period effort entering this one. If Anaheim can score a couple in the first, it could put them in position to pull off the upset.
The Blues have not been able to get going on special teams so far this season. St. Louis has scored on 9 of their 67 power play chances, which is a 13.4 percent success rate. The Blues have not been much better on the penalty kill. St. Louis has given up 21 goals on their opponents 70 power play attempts, which is a 73.4 percent penalty kill.
Anaheim has also struggled heavily on the power play throughout this season. The Ducks have capitalized on 6 of their 52 power play opportunities, which is an 11.5 percent power play. Anaheim’s penalty kill has been really strong though. The Ducks have killed off 51 of their 60 penalties against, which is an 85 percent kill rate.
The Ducks have a slight edge on special teams in this one because of their penalty kill. Neither team has found any rhythm on the power play, which is an advantage to Anaheim’s penalty kill. The Ducks will look to score on the power play against a struggling Blues penalty kill. If either team can get some goals with the man advantage, it could give them the win.
Jordan Binnington will likely get the start in the net for St. Louis in this one. Binnington has earned a record of 8-6-2 throughout his starts so far this season. He has posted a .909 save percentage and a GAA of 2.66 in his games. Binnington was pulled from his last start against the San Jose Sharks after allowing 4 goals on 19 shots.
I expect John Gibson to get the nod between the pipes for the Ducks on Wednesday night. Gibson has started in 18 games this season, going 5-9-4 through those games. He has put up a save percentage of .905 and a 2.76 GAA in his games played. Gibson’s last start was against the Blues, where he stopped 30 of 34 shots in the losing effort.
Binnington gets the slight edge in net in this one with his save percentage and record. Gibson has struggled a bit, but has not gotten much help this season. Gibson has lost his last six starts and will look to finally get back in the win column in this one. I expect both goalies to come out quickly as they try to set the pace in this one.
St. Louis is the much better team entering this one, but I think that the Ducks can end their losing streak on Wednesday night. Anaheim has the edge on special teams in this one and if they can pot a power play goal, it could help them win. The Ducks came close to knock off the Blues on Monday night and if they can carry momentum into this one, I think they will have a shot.
BetOnline has St. Louis listed as a -145 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Blues will win this game around 59.2 percent of the time. This line makes a lot of sense with how well St. Louis has played this season. I think that the Ducks will come out quickly in this one. As big underdogs at home, I really like the value on Anaheim to end their losing streak on Wednesday.