We have a six-game NHL schedule coming our way this evening, so let’s dial up a Golden Knights vs. Ducks NHL Pick from Anaheim!
Golden Knights vs. Ducks Betting Odds
*Odds courtesy of BetOnline
|Golden Knights||-163||-1.5 (+153)||Over 5.5 (-116)|
|Ducks||+147||+1.5 (-173)||Under 5.5 (+105)|
Offense and Defense
It took some time, but the Golden Knights’ offense is finally getting healthier, most notably getting Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty back into the lineup, although their returns haven’t paid immediate dividends in the win/loss column as the club has dropped two of their last three as they look to make up ground in the Pacific Division.
Max Pacioretty gets Vegas' first goal of the year 😤 pic.twitter.com/6YsYa92IDW
— ESPN (@espn) October 13, 2021
That being said, offense hasn’t been the Achilles heal — at least at even strength — as Vegas sits in a share of 11th with the Tampa Bay Lightning while averaging 3.10 goals per game on the season. As usual, the team sports fantastic underlying metrics from an offensive standpoint as they sit third in high-danger chances for/60 and fourth in expected goals for/60 at 5v5 on the season. Their 2.85 goals/60 at 5v5 is just a little above their 2.64 expected mark.
They’ve stepped up and managed 3.67 goals per game over their last nine, however, so this group appears to be trending in the right direction with the big boys returning to the mix.
The defense has been the biggest issue. It’s actually been rather shocking to see the NHL’s No. 1 ranked defense from a season ago not only sitting 22nd with 3.05 goals against per game on the season, but also sporting some of the worst underlying metrics in the NHL.
Indeed, the Knights rank 31st in high-danger chances against/60 and dead last in terms of expected goals against/60 at 5v5. Their 2.80 goals against/60 at 5v5 is nearly identical to their 2.82 expected mark, so they appear very deserving of their subpar defensive fate at even strength so far this season.
They’ve been better of late, however, holding opponents to 2.80 goals per game over their last five, but this is an area that needs improvement if they are to climb back into postseason territory in the Western Conference.
While the Vegas defense has been one of the bigger disappointments this season, the Ducks’ offense has been among the biggest surprises in the league.
The Ducks enter this matchup ranked ninth with 3.22 goals per game on the season and the advanced data is in agreement with that fine work. They also sit ninth in high-danger chances for/60 and 11th in expected goals for/60 at 5v5 with their 2.31 goals/60 at 5v5 sitting right in line with their 2.39 expected mark.
It’s a fairly shocking development, to be honest. This was thought of as a young group still finding it’s way, but all the sudden youngster Troy Terry and veteran Ryan Getzlaf have teamed up to form one of the more potent duos in the league.
That being said, while they tallied four regulation goals their last time out, they’ve been held to two goals or less in four of their last six with an average of 2.33 regulation goals per game during that time.
Not to be outdone, the defense has seen a notable improvement as well as they sit 14th while surrendering 2.78 goals per game on the season. The Ducks also rank 14th in high-danger chances against/60, although they fall all the way to 28th in terms of expected goals against/60 at 5v5. That said, their 2.52 goals against/60 at 5v5 is extremely close to their 2.48 expected mark, so I’m not sure any regression should be expected.
That back end has regressed over their last two in allowing nine goals in that time while they’ve allowed at least four goals in three of their last four as they look to bounce back in this one tonight.
As of now, we don’t have a confirmed netminder for either side, and while the Knights haven’t played since Saturday it’s not guaranteed that Robin Lehner gets the nod over backup Laurent Brossoit.
If he does, however, he’ll carry a 2.96 GAA and .913 Sv% into this one with a goals saved above average (GSAA) of -0.28 that ranks 34th among qualified netminders. It’s hard to blame him for what appear to be subpar numbers, but a .913 Sv% in front of a team that gives up chances with the worst of em’ isn’t all too bad.
If it’s Brossoit, he’d bring a 2.81 GAA and .910 Sv% into action, numbers nearly identical to his 2.83 GAA and .908 Sv% for his career. He’s appeared in just five games and made just four starts, so his outings have been few and far between.
That being said, Brossoit has also been stellar in his last two outings, allowing just four combined goals while posting a .927 Sv% in that time. Brossoit’s -0.36 GSAA ranks 36th among qualified netminders.
John Gibson notched the shootout win despite allowing a trio of third-period goals to the Kings last night to the tie the game late, meaning backup Anthony Stolarz should be in line for the starting nod tonight. Furthermore, Gibson has now allowed four goals in back-to-back starts while posting an .875 Sv% in that time, so now is a perfect time to give the veteran a breather.
Should he get the nod, Stolarz would bring an outstanding 2.39 GAA and .930 Sv% into action with a 2.85 GSAA that puts him 18th league wide. It’s just a five-outing sample this season, but he also turned in a 2.20 GAA and .926 Sv% in eight appearances last season, giving him a 2.27 GAA and .928 Sv% over his last 13 outings. Only Jack Campbell and Alex Nedeljkovic have a better save percentage among goalies with at least 13 appearances over the last season and change.
Given their 12th-ranked offense and elite underlying metrics in that area, it’s easy to determine that the Vegas power play has struggled.
Only the New York Islanders have been worse on the man advantage than Vegas who sports a 10.6% clip on the power play this season. Sure, they’ve been without their best offensive players for a lengthy stretch, but they’re still 0 for 13 on the power play over their last six games, so something certainly seems to be amiss once again in this area.
The penalty kill has been better, but mostly league average. Their 81.7% mark on the season is right in the middle of the pack at 15th, although they’ve been better of late. Over their last eight games, the Vegas PK has gone 24 for 27 (88.9%) so this is an area that’s been on the upswing as well.
A major reason for the Ducks success through the quarter-mark of the season has been special teams.
Their offense and defense have been good at even strength, but the power play enters this one third in the NHL at a dynamite 28.4% clip on the season while the penalty kill is also among the league leaders in a share of fourth with an 87.1% mark.
The power play continues to do its thing by going 4 for 9 over their last four games while the penalty kill has done its part by going a clean 6 for 6 over their last three and 15 for 17 (88.2%) over their last five.
- Golden Knights are 11-5 in their last 16 overall
- Golden Knights are 2-5 in their last seven as a road favorite
- Over is 5-0 in the Golden Knights’ last five road games
- Over is 8-3-1 in the Golden Knights’ last 12 overall
- Ducks are 7-2 in their last nine home games
- Ducks are 2-5 in their last seven playing on 0 days rest
- Over is 4-0 in the Ducks’ last four games playing on 0 days rest
- Under is 6-2 in the Ducks’ last eight home games
Head to Head
- Golden Knights are 18-3 in the last 21 meetings
- Golden Knights are 5-0 in the last five meetings in Anaheim
- Road team is 5-1 in the last six meetings
- Over is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings
Golden Knights vs. Ducks NHL Pick
The Ducks have hit a little bit of a skid of late as they have dropped four of their last six games while the Golden Knights have found their footing in collecting wins in six of their last nine contests. I think those trends continue in this one tonight as Vegas is in a real nice spot here.
The Knights haven’t played since dropping a tight 3-2 affair to the Oilers on Saturday while the Ducks are coming off a hard-fought shooting win just 24 hours ago in Los Angeles before making the short trek back to Orange County. The Ducks haven’t been good in back-to-backs (understandably), but they’ve also been brutalized by Vegas since the Golden Knights entered the league.
I’m not too concerned about the goalie matchup regardless who starts for Vegas, and with their two best offensive players back in the lineup this is just a far better team than we saw earlier in the year.
I expect the Vegas offense to continue its recent stretch of productivity while we’ve seen some regression in this Ducks defense of late. Give me the Golden Knights here, but I’ll grab them on the 3-way moneyline (win in regulation) at nice +100 odds.