The Anaheim Ducks get back on the saddle tonight, as they look to extend their streak of wins to six games tonight. They welcome the Buffalo Sabres to the pond tonight, after the Ducks defeated the Calgary Flames yet again, 5-2, on Sunday. There were some opinions that the Ducks were going to have a letdown in their first game back after a long, grueling seven game trip on the road. The Ducks were able to take 5-2 on the road, a nice effort during a time of the season where they have been finding their element. I believed it was only going to be a matter of time before the Ducks caught fire, and here we are, after their forgettable start to the season, Anaheim is 31-19-8 and looking like contenders. There is far too much talent on the team for the Ducks to put together a .500 type season, which is what they were exhibiting earlier. Remember the Ducks got off to a dismal 3-9 start to the year. In the first instance that the Ducks faced any kind of adversity in the regular season in years, they responded quite nicely and put it all in the past.
The Ducks have gone 8-2 in their last ten games. Looking further back, they’ve gone 12-2 in their previous fourteen tilts on the ice. It is going to be interesting to see how the Ducks play in the playoffs this season. We all know they have faltered in recent years, but they have always blew through the competition during the regular season. This season, they had to pull themselves together and shake off the rough opening part of the 2015-16 campaign. Now that they have shaken it off, we’ll see what the future holds for the Ducks. A lot of the troubles for the Ducks were attributed to the lack of offensive prowess for Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf. Neither were finding the back of the net. However, since Christmas, both have looked more like their true selves. Kesler has recorded 7 points in the last six games, notching 2 goals and 5 assists. Likewise, the other Ryan has been hot as well, with 15 points in the last ten games. All is well in Anaheim.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Pick
The Sabres will have their hands full tonight, against a Ducks team that they aspire to be like in the future. They are trying to put the pieces together with a talented young core, and they do appear to be on the right road. The Sabres are 3-6 in their last nine matchups. There is definitely going to be growing pains with a team like this, but it is night and day compared to last season. Every so often they come to play and pull the upset. Could the Ducks be a casualty tonight? I feel if the Ducks take them lightly that could be the scenario that comes to fruition. Robin Lehner is going to need a monster game in net, he will be dealing with the hottest offense in the NHL right now.
The Ducks have scored an average of 4.20 goals in their last ten games. In their last four games, they have recorded 5.25 goals per game. 6 goals once and then three straight 5 goal efforts. The Sabres have been playing well on offense of late as well, not quite on the Ducks level, but still playing well. They have scored 3 goals per game in their last ten. They have averaged 3.6 goals in their last five games. Combined between the Ducks and Sabres, they scored 7.20 goals per game in the last twenty games. I feel, even though the OVER is juiced, a total of 5 looks like an auto bet on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-135)