Anaheim Ducks vs Vegas Golden Knights NHL Pick – December 31

The NHL is set up with another strong slate of games throughout New Years Eve. Four games are up on the board throughout Friday. One of these matchups will be between the Anaheim Ducks and the Vegas Golden Knights. These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 3:00 PM Eastern time.

Anaheim has earned a record of 17-9-7 to start out this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Pacific division. The Ducks have lost their last two games in overtime and will look to bounce back in this one. Anaheim is one point behind Vegas for the top seed. I expect the Ducks to come out fast in this one on the road.

The Golden Knights have put up a record of 21-12-0 to open up the season, which has them in the top spot of the Pacific division. Vegas is coming off a win in their last game and have won nine of their last eleven. The Golden Knights will look to remain red hot in the month of December with a win. Vegas will look to grab an early lead to get the home crowd into it.

These two teams have opened up this season strong and will look to keep it going on Friday night. The Ducks have lost their last couple, but have done a good job forcing overtime. Vegas has been one of the league’s hottest teams throughout this month. If either team can come out strong in this one, it could be enough for the win.

Game Overview

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Money Line Total
Anaheim Ducks +1 ½ (-150) +166 Over 6 (+100)
Vegas Golden Knights -1 ½ (+130) -185 Under 6 (-110)

 

Team Data Anaheim Ducks Vegas Golden Knights
Overall Record 17-9-7 21-12-0
Away/ Home Record 7-5-3 10-7-0
Goals Per Game 3.09 3.55
Goals Per Game Away/ Home 2.87 3.41
Save Percentage .916 .901
Save Percentage Away/ Home .908 .894

Betting Trends

Anaheim Ducks

  • 5-5 in December
  • 2-4 on Friday nights
  • 7-4 against division opponents
  • 5-5 after divisional game
  • 3-2 after scoring one goal or less
  • 6-9 when playing team with winning record

Vegas Golden Knights

  • 9-3 in December
  • 3-2 on Friday nights
  • 1-2 when playing on two days rest
  • 6-4 against division opponents
  • 3-6 after divisional game
  • 8-3 after a win by two or more goals
  • 8-7 against team with winning record

These two teams have met up twice so far this season. Vegas hosted the first game on October 29. Nicolas Hague and Chandler Stephenson both had a goal and an assist as the Golden Knights won 5-4 in a shootout. The second game was in Anaheim on December 1. Sonny Milano and Trevor Zegras both had three assists as the Ducks won 6-5 at home.

Special Teams

The Ducks have been strong on both sides of special teams to open up the season. Anaheim has capitalized on 23 of their 90 power play chances, which is 25.6 percent success rate. The Ducks have killed off 73 of their opponents 85 power play attempts, which is an 85.9 percent penalty kill. Anaheim is 5th on the power play and 3rd on the kill this season.

Vegas has struggled a bit on the penalty kill so far this season. The Golden Knights have scored on 17 of their 82 power play opportunities, which is a 20.7 percent power play. Vegas has given up 21 power play goals on 95 penalties against, which is a 77.9 percent kill rate. The Golden Knights are 12th on the man advantage and 23rd on the penalty kill.

Anaheim has the edge on special teams entering play in this one. The Ducks have found a lot of success on both sides of special teams and will look to remain hot on Friday night. The Golden Knights will look to get their penalty kill going in this one. If either team can get a power play goal or two, it could lift them to the win.

Goaltending Comparison

I expect John Gibson to get the start in the crease for Anaheim in this one. Gibson has earned a record of 11-7-6 throughout his 24 starts this season. He has posted a .914 save percentage and a GAA of 2.68 in those meetings. Gibson’s last start was against the Vancouver Canucks. He finished with 35 saves on 37 shots in the overtime loss.

Robin Lehner will likely get the nod in net for the Golden Knights on Friday night. Lehner has started in 24 games this season, going 14-9-0 in those outings. He has put up a save percentage of .905 and a 3.03 GAA in his games played. Lehner finished with 29 saves on 32 shots in his last start against the New York Islanders.

These two goalies have been strong throughout this season. Lehner has been a bit better as of late, winning his last six starts entering Friday’s tilt. Gibson has lost three in a row and five of his last six. Anaheim will look to put a bit more offense in front of Gibson in this one. If either goalie can get into a rhythm early, it could be enough for the win.

Pick Overview

The Ducks and Golden Knights have split the first two games of this season series and will look to get the leg up in this one. Anaheim fell earlier this season in Vegas and will look to knock them off in this one. The Ducks have struggled a bit in their recent stretch of games, but I think they can grab a pivotal two points on Friday night.

BetOnline has the Golden Knights listed as a -185 against the money line in this one. This implies that Vegas will win this game around 64.9 percent of the time. I think that this line is too high for two teams competing for the top of the division. The Ducks have been strong to open up this season. As huge underdogs in this one, I really like the value on Anaheim.

The Bet
Anaheim Ducks
+166
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.

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