#15 Anaheim Ducksvs.#16 Colorado Avalanche
Written by Ricky Dimon
Anaheim Ducks (22-13-8 SU, 23-20 PL, 14-17-12 O/U) vs. Colorado Avalanche (13-25-1 SU, 16-23 PL, 16-19-4 O/U)
NHL: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Anaheim -160/Colorado +140 Total: 5
The Anaheim Ducks have won four of their last five games heading into a road date with the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night. Anaheim is coming off a 2-0 shutout of Dallas on Tuesday. The Avalanche halted a five-game losing streak by beating the Islanders in overtime last Friday.
Anaheim is coming off a strong five-game home-stand in which it went 4-1-0. The Ducks wrapped it up with an impressive victory over Dallas earlier this week. Jakob Silfverberg had a hand in both goals against Dallas, scoring the opening tally on the power play before setting up Andrew Cogliano. Silfverberg now has 12 goals and 16 assists and is already just 11 points shy of matching his career-high number.
“He’s on another level right now,” Cogliano said of Silfverberg. “I’ve always thought he was one of the most underrated in the league. When you play with him, you appreciate him more about what he does…. When he’s playing well, he’s usually the best player on the ice.”
Colorado has not won consecutive home games this entire season. That’s what it will be looking to do when it hosts Anaheim on Thursday. If the Avalanche lose, it certainly won’t be due to a lack of rest. They will have had five full days off by they time they take the ice for this one. Their 2-1 win over the Islanders last Friday ended a 10-game slide at home (0-9-1), giving them their first victory at Pepsi Center since Nov. 15. Colorado is 5-13-1 at home. Goalie Calvin Pickard was in net during a recent five-game losing streak in which the Avalanche surrendered a total of 23 goals, but he came up big with 35 saves against New York for his second win since Dec. 8.
“It’s tough to get out of a streak when you’re losing every game at home,” head coach Jared Bednar admitted. “We weren’t playing with a whole lot of confidence. Hopefully this builds some of that and we can string some wins together. It’s been a long time; it’s been tough.”
The Anaheim Ducks are:
The Colorado Avalanche are:
Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf (lower-body injury), sidelined for the past four games, practiced fully on Tuesday for the first time since he was hurt. Its recent win over the Islanders notwithstanding, Colorado has been nothing short of abysmal at home in recent times. It ranks last in the NHL in scoring and last in goals allowed, a simple recipe for its current standing as the league’s worst team. Colorado is struggling on the penalty kill, having permitted seven goals in 20 man-advantage chances over the past four games. Anaheim is 4-1 in its last five overall and 4-1 in its last five against losing opponents. The Avalanche are 7-20 in their last 27 at home, 7-22 in their last 29 against the Western Conference, 0-5 in their last five against the Pacific Division, 10-23 in the last 33 meetings between the two teams, and 4-10 in their last 14 at home against the Ducks. Look for those trends to continue.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.