Max Lagace played one of the best games of his career last night, shunning the Bruins for just 2 goals allowed. However, his offense didn’t help him out, and the Bruins won a 2-1 decision on Thursday night. Not much you can do when a minor league goaltender spoils your bet. It’s the third straight loss for the Golden Knights, who have suddenly hit a bad stretch on their east coast road trip.
Their improbable run wasn’t going to hang up forever, and they have their first bit of adversity in franchise history. There are only two games on the docket tonight, as the New Jersey Devils and Oilers meet in Edmonton, while the Predators and Ducks dance in Anaheim. This is a rematch of a series in the playoffs a year ago, a series I happened to do nicely in.
The Predators and Ducks met in the Western Conference Finals, with the Predators ultimately come out on top in six games. It was an evenly played series, but the Preds were destined to find the Stanley Cup Finals. The Predators are out here on the west coast on a road trip. They made a stop in San Jose before heading to Anaheim, where they took a 4-1 loss against the Sharks.
It wasn’t the best effort from the Preds, as they had their lowest shot total of the season, with only 20 shots. Pekka Rinne didn’t play a good game either, allowing 4 goals on 23 shots for a 0.826% save percentage. They’re heading into Friday with an even record of 5-5-1. Should we expect a bit of a letdown after reaching the finals a year ago? I believe to a degree. I think they had their chance and let it slip away, and will find it difficult to get that chance again. The Ducks are out for revenge tonight at the Duck Pond. Head below for our free Predators vs. Ducks pick in the NHL for Friday night.
Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick
The net has been John Gibson’s for over a year now. He heads into his second-year as the clear starter, after the Ducks parted ways with Frederik Andersen. Andersen went to Toronto, while Gibson has taken over as the full-time starter. He has been okay, but could be better with a 2.76 GAA and 0.919% save percentage. However, nothing to be concerned over for the Ducks. Rinne has been hanging in there strong, posting a 2.10 GAA and 0.931% save percentage.
The problem for the Preds is that they look like the team of old. The old team who struggles on offence and fails to find the back of the net. It’s like Barry Trotz is hiding behind the bench in Nashville. They have averaged just 2.33 goals per game this year, and are scoring just 1.6 goals per in their last six games. They’ve particularly been awful on the power play, as they are 31st out of 31 teams in the NHL with an extra man. They’ve lost four of their last five games. It should be a close game, but with all things considered, the Ducks have to be the more motivated team in this one. They haven’t forgot about last season and are playing better hockey than the Preds.
PICK: DUCKS (-110)