We came very close to starting this week off with three straight wins as our two selections for last night’s action finished 1-1 with our loss coming just one goal shy of pushing the total over the 5.5 mark. The Penguins and Hurricanes were unable to get to the over 5.5 total as a disappointing effort on Pittsburgh’s behalf produced just one goal and the Carolina Hurricanes picked up a big upset win with a 4-1 victory over the powerhouse Pens. Our other pick for the night came through as the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets kept the total under the 5.5 mark with a 3-2 overtime win for the Avalanche. We will take the split and move on to tonight’s NHL action that features just four games.
Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks
My Pick – DUCKS -1.5 (+100) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)
It has been yet another season to forget for the Edmonton Oilers as the club will once again finish in the basement of the Western Conference and be looking for some serious answers in the offseason. Edmonton was in action last night and actually put together a solid effort against a powerful San Jose Sharks team, however the end result was another loss as the Sharks scored a pair of goals in the third period to knock off the Oilers by a 5-4 score. Tonight is another monstrous challenge for the young Oilers squad who will now face the Anaheim Ducks who have won four of their last five games. The Ducks sit atop the Pacific Division and second overall in the Western Conference with 106 points on the year (45 more points than Edmonton) and have scored a whopping 22 goals over their last five games. Interestingly enough their lone loss over the past five contests came against this Oilers team last Friday in Edmonton, however that was just the first time the Oilers have beaten the Ducks over their last seven meetings. Over the last ten head-to-head meetings between the two clubs, the Ducks average 3.2 goals per game while the Oilers average just 1.6, partly due to the fact the Oilers powerplay has clicked at just a 4.8% clip over those ten games.
The Ducks are nothing short of a force on home ice this season as they score 3.5 goals per game at the Honda Centre and give up just 2.2 goals on home ice. For the Oilers it is no surprise they boast very poor road numbers against this year as they surrender 3.3 goals per game away from home which ranks 28th in the league, and their road offense isn’t much better with 2.4 goals per game, good for 26th overall. The Oilers have been in too much penalty trouble over their last two games as the team has faced 13 short handed situations, something that could burn them against a talented Ducks powerplay that clicks at 20% on home ice this season. Barring another huge road effort from an Oilers team that is in a back-to-back road situation, this game shouldn’t even be close. Anaheim has beaten Edmonton in five of their last six tries at the Honda Centre and should do so again tonight, likely by more than a goal.