Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#53 Anaheim Ducks 5.5 vs.
#54 Carolina Hurricanes -210
Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:35pm EST
PNC Arena, Raleigh
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference battle on the ice down in the Tar Heel State. The Anaheim Ducks are on the road as they make the cross-country trek to face the Carolina Hurricanes Friday night. Anaheim was in action on the road against Nashville Thursday night. The Ducks were dumped 4-1 on the road by the Blues Monday night in their previous game. Carolina was on the road in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets Thursday night. In their previous contest, the Hurricanes were blanked 2-0 by Washington on the road Monday night. The Ducks have taken eight of the last 10 meetings, including a 4-2 home win in the first matchup this season on October 18, 2019.

Anaheim Ducks Looking to Earn Road Win

Anaheim was in action on Thursday night in Nashville trying to get back on track as they entered that game with four straight losses and seven defeats in their last eight games. The Ducks entered Thursday night in the basement in the Pacific Division, 16 points behind the Flames for the final guaranteed playoff spot. They stood 18 points behind Arizona for the top spot in the Pacific Division. In the race for the second wild card, the Ducks stood 15 points behind the Jets. Anaheim is 30th in goals for as they average 2.43 goals per game so far this season. The Ducks are currently 22nd in the league in goals against as they give up 3.17 goals per game. Anaheim is tied for 29th in power play success as they have converted 14.6 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Ducks are 24th in the league in penalty killing as they have successfully worked through 77.3 percent of their shorthanded situations this year. Anaheim has lit the lamp six times while shorthanded this season.

Against St. Louis on the road, the Ducks were unable to get a ton going offensively and that proved to be their undoing. In the opening period, Anaheim saw the shots even at five and skated off tied at one after 20 minutes of play. After giving up the opening goal of the game, Max Comtois tied the game with his fifth of the year, unassisted, at 15:23 of the stanza. The second period saw the Ducks outshot by a 22-10 margin and outscored 2-0 to trail 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. In the final period, Anaheim was outshot 7-6 and outscored 1-0 to put the game out of reach. John Gibson made 30 saves for the Ducks, who were outshot 34-21 in the contest. Ryan Miller likely gets the call here in the second game of a back to back situation.

Carolina Hurricanes Hoping to Bounce Back

Carolina was in action on the road in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets Thursday night looking to get back on track. The Hurricanes entered Thursday fourth in the Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Islanders for the final guaranteed playoff spots and 11 back of the division-leading Capitals. In the wild card picture, Carolina does hold the top wild card spot entering Thursday’s action. Carolina is 12th in the league in goals for as they average 3.22 goals per game this season. The Hurricanes are tied for 7th in goals against by allowing 2.72 goals per contest. Carolina is tied for 8th with the man advantage by converting 22.1 percent of their power play opportunities on the year. The Hurricanes are 10th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 82.4 percent of their shorthanded situations with nine shorthanded goals on the year.

Against the Capitals, Carolina was unable to build off back to back shutouts as this time it was them putting the goose egg on the scoreboard. In the opening period, the Hurricanes were outshot by a 14-6 margin and outscored 2-0 to trail after 20 minutes of action. The second period saw Carolina with a 10-5 edge in shots on goal with neither side lighting the lamp, leaving the score 2-0 after two periods of play. In the final period, the Hurricanes were outshot 11-7 but the period was scoreless once again, leaving them game 2-0 at the final horn. Petr Mrazek took the loss as he made 28 saves in a contest where Carolina was outshot 30-23. James Reimer likely gets the call here in the second game of a back to back situation.

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Both teams are playing the second game of a back to back situation here so there’s no rest factor involved. Carolina does get the advantage of an earlier faceoff but that’s about it. When you get down to it, Anaheim has struggled to put the puck in the net all season long and having tired legs isn’t going to help matters from them here either. Carolina has been tough at home and they had won three straight before the shutout loss to Washington Monday night. The Hurricanes are fighting to stay in a playoff spot while Anaheim is going nowhere fast. Give Carolina the upper hand in this one as they get back on the winning track.

Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes

Full-Game Total Pick

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Anaheim went into Thursday's action 6-15-2 on the year. The Ducks have been outscored by 31 goals (82-51) while being outshot by 61 (735-674) in those contests this season. Anaheim sees an average of 5.78 goals per game when they are the road team this season. Carolina comes in with a 15-8-0 home record on the season. The Hurricanes have a +20 goal differential (80-60) and a +182 shot differential (810-628) on the season in those games. That's an average of 6.09 goals per game. With Anaheim struggling to score all season and both teams playing the second game of a back to back, this one ends up short of the total.

Prediction: Under 5.5

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Anaheim has had their issues on the road, regardless of how far into the game they are. The Ducks have held the lead just five times after the opening 20 minutes in their 23 road games this season. By comparison, Anaheim has trailed eight times and has been tied in 10 contests after the first period. Carolina has led eight times after the first period at home this season. The Hurricanes have been tied nine times after one period at home, meaning they've trailed just six times. This one goes toward Carolina after one period of play.

Prediction: 1st Period Carolina Hurricanes

Half-Time Total Bet

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Anaheim enters this game having played decent, if unspectacular hockey, in the opening period on the road. The Ducks have a -4 goal differential (23-19) and a -29 shot differential (248-219) this season in the opening period as the visiting team. That gives Anaheim an average of 1.83 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes on the road. Carolina has an even goal differential (24-24) in the first period on home ice and a +83 shot differential (293-210) this season. That's an average of 2.09 goals per first period at home this year. This one stays under the total as both teams are a bit heavy-legged.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.