I made two free NHL picks last night and they resulted in a 1-1 split and a tiny units loss on the ledger.
I had the Flyers to beat the Blue Jackets in regulation on home ice at +100 odds and this was one of the easier wins we’ve had all season.
The Flyers scored the first three goals of the game as well as the final two goals of the game and cruised to a 5-1 win in this one, handing the Jackets their sixth straight loss.
That said, I also dropped a pick featuring the Sabres and Senators where I had Buffalo as slight road favorites at -115 in Ottawa.
The Sabres jumped out a 2-0 lead in the first, but disaster struck shortly thereafter when the Sens tallied four goals in span of less than four minutes and thus carried a 4-2 lead into the first intermission.
Buffalo fought back and narrowed two-goal leads to one-goal leads on two occasions, but failed to ever tie the game and the Sens ran away with a 7-4 win.
All told, we dropped 0.15 units with the 1-1 night, so no harm, no foul.
Let’s now move on to this six-game Wednesday night schedule!
Season Record: 98-83-1
Now let’s dive into this free NHL pick featuring the Panthers vs. Ducks from the Honda Center in Anaheim!
Panthers vs. Ducks Betting Odds
- Panthers (-128)
- Ducks (+116)
- Panthers -1.5 (+183)
- Ducks +1.5 (-213)
- Over 6.5 (+102)
- Under 6.5 (-113)
Panthers vs. Ducks NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with both of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Panthers have a big opportunity ahead of them tonight as they can take back third spot in the Atlantic Division from the idle Maple Leafs with two points in this one and still have a game in hand on their Atlantic Division rival.
Both the Leafs and Panthers have struggled of late, however, as Florida won just once in a seven-game span heading out onto this road trip but took care of the short-handed Sharks by a 5-3 score in San Jose on Monday.
The offensive breakout was a welcomed site for a high-powered Panthers offense that has had little trouble scoring goals until late as they averaged just 1.86 goals per game during the aforementioned seven-game stretch.
After putting a five-spot on the Sharks Monday, the Panthers sit tied for sixth with 3.21 goals per game on the road this season and 13th with a solid 19.1% mark on the power play away from home.
It’s been the other end of the ice that’s been the much bigger concern throughout the season.
The Panthers rank 22nd with 3.31 goals against per game on the road this season and 19th with a 77.5% mark on the penalty kill on the road as well.
They still allowed three goals in San Jose to a weak Sharks offense on Monday and have now allowed 4.29 goals per game over their last seven.
Of course, the struggles of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky have been well-documented this season, his first in Florida after signing that lucrative seven-year deal in free agency this summer.
Now, tonight is the first end of a back-to-back for the Panthers as they also play in Los Angeles tomorrow night and the Panthers have yet to announce their goaltending plans.
That said, I would think Bobrovsky at least gets things started tonight as he’s been leaned on in both end of the team’s back-to-back sets of late.
If it’s Bobrovsky, he will enter this one sporting a 3.31 GAA and .897 Sv% on the season, but also a weaker 3.42 GAA and .889 Sv% across 23 appearances on the road, going just 9-9-3 in that time.
Otherwise, we aren’t sure if backup Chris Driedger is healthy enough to return or if Samuel Montembeault gets a rare start, but I’d be surprise if Bobrovsky wasn’t in goal to try and get the Panthers back into a playoff spot.
It’s been a rocky road for the Ducks of late.
They’ve dropped two of their last three and the scores for those games read: 6-0 (L), 5-1 (W), 6-4 (L). In other words, a lot of action in that one and the over has hit in all three.
The Ducks have both allowed and registered a 40-shot effort in that span, but high-octane offense is not what we are used to from this club.
The Ducks enter this one ranked 29th with just 2.62 goals per game on home ice this season where the power play has struggled with a 27th-ranked 14.7% clip in that time.
The offense has been better lately, although a little inconsistent, with 2.90 goals per game over their last 10.
Defensively, they’ve been better at home than on the road but have still struggled to prevent goals for the most part of late.
The Ducks sit 16th with 2.92 goals against per game at home this season and 14th with an 82.1% mark on the penalty kill at home as well.
Over their last three games, they’ve allowed six goals twice and have now yielded 10 goals over their last two games on home ice.
Getting the nod in goal tonight for the home side will be John Gibson who will surely look for a bounce back after allowing four goals on just 16 shots in his last outing on home ice.
Gibson hasn’t been at his best for the most part this season with a 2.99 GAA and .904 Sv% on the season but also a 2.78 GAA and .908 Sv% on home ice – numbers that took a big hit his last time out.
Gibson will also be seeking some revenge against this Panthers offense tonight after getting shelled for five goals on just 28 shots (.821 Sv%) while the Ducks blew a four-goal lead for a 5-4 OT loss in Florida back on November 21st.
The Ducks have been inconsistent for much of the season as they transition to a youth movement, and I think they’ll be in tough tonight against a Panthers team that regained their offensive mojo their last time out.
Florida has the ability – as they’ve shown for much of the season – to outscore any defensive and/or goaltending issues they may have.
Although the Panthers have allowed some offense this season to be sure, the Ducks are just not a very good offense and they struggle to produce on the power play.
Therefore, I’m of the opinion that Bobrovsky can enjoy a rare productive road game in this one tonight, and if he doesn’t, there’s a good chance the Panthers score enough to win regardless.
After watching the Maple Leafs get blasted by the Pens last night, and opening a big window for the Panthers in the process, I bet Florida is fired up for this one with their bomb sights set on a playoff spot.
Give me the road side here to win this one on the moneyline tonight.