Anaheim Ducks at Arizona Coyotes
When and Where: Saturday, Oct. 6, Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ariz., 9 p.m. EDT.
After an impressive season-opening victory, the Anaheim Ducks turn to goaltender John Gibson to continue his personal mastery of the Arizona Coyotes as the Pacific Division rivals meet Saturday night.
Ducks ride top two lines, PP units to win over Sharks
Anaheim gave Erik Karlsson a rude welcome to the Western Conference, spoiling his San Jose Sharks debut with a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.
The Ducks scored three third-period goals and four unanswered overall as their power play clicked twice in three opportunities. Rickard Rakell pulled Anaheim even in the second period on the man advantage, and after defenseman Brandon Montour tallied the go-ahead goal with 11:58 to play, Adam Henrique put the game out of reach with a power-play marker 2:20 later.
“To any great power play, getting the puck moving around kind of gets the PK moving around,” Henrique told the Ducks official website. “If you can take advantage of that, it pays off. You need a couple good passes to get set.”
🗣: "Wouldn't believe if you would say that to me before the game. It was a good play by Rico to poke the puck to me, and I found a way to put in the back of the net. Very happy."@comtois20 breaks down his excellent debut, including his first @NHL goal! #LetsGoDucks pic.twitter.com/95wlkDakVE
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) October 4, 2018
At the other end, Gibson finished with 31 saves in helping kill off three Ducks penalties. The netminder has had Arizona’s number of late, winning both of his matchups versus the Coyotes last season and his last four starts against them. Gibson is 4-1-0 with a 2.10 goals-against average lifetime against Arizona.
‘Yotes look to regroup after losing opener in Dallas
Arizona was a bit unlucky but also suffered critical lapses in its 3-0 defeat at Dallas on Thursday night, yielding all three goals in a 96-second span early in the second period.
Playing without injured centers Alex Galchenyuk and Christian Dvorak, coach Rick Tocchet broke up his top-scoring first line tandem of Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller, dropping Keller to pivot the second line. The move didn’t register, though it also did not help matters that Keller, top-scoring defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski all rang the post with shots.
Tocchet, though, was visibly irritated with his team’s failure to respond to falling behind in such rapid-fire fashion.
“There were six or seven guys, I didn’t like their game tonight and that was the difference for us.” – Coach Tocchet pic.twitter.com/i1uLJPO2d6
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 5, 2018
Tocchet is understandably concerned given he does not want a repeat of last season, when the Coyotes lost their first 11 games and took just one point from them. Arizona opened 2017-18 with one point from its first six home games, and its overall 2-3-15 start effectively buried any playoff hopes.
“We can’t come out that flat there in the second and let them get three quick ones, all mistakes on our end,” right wing Christian Fischer told Arizona’s official website. “We’re going to be down a lot of times this year. We’ve got to find a way to push back. It doesn’t have to be a goal. It could be a big hit, a big play or just shutting a line down.”
Antti Raanta is expected to be between the pipes again after turning aside 22 of 25 shots versus the Stars. He went 1-2-0 with a 2.03 GAA in three starts against Anaheim last season, with the lone victory a 26-save shutout in a 2-0 win Feb. 24.
The Coyotes are:
- 8-20 in their last 28 Saturday games.
- 2-8 in their last 10 games vs. the Ducks.
- The under is 5-0 in their last five games vs. teams with an above-.600 winning percentage.
- The under is 50-19-6 in their last 75 games when their opponent allows two or fewer goals in their previous game.
The Ducks are:
- 7-1 in their last eight games vs. sub-.500 teams.
- 6-2 in their last eight games after allowing two or fewer goals in the previous game.
- 5-1 in their last six games following a win.
- The under is 11-4 in their last 15 road games.
- The under is 20-8-2 in their last 30 games vs. Pacific Division teams.
- The under is 3-0-1 in their last four road games vs. the Coyotes.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Until the Coyotes regain their depth down the middle, Tocchet is somewhat hamstrung in his options to play Stepan and Keller together except when on the power play. While Arizona will show some jump being it is the home opener, the lack of offense beyond those two playmakers will continue to pose problems.
Anaheim, meanwhile, got heavy production from its top two lines and its top power-play unit — a four-forward group consisting of Henrique, Rakell, Silfverberg and Getzlaf. After taking apart the Sharks — who have two of the league’s best blue liners in Karlsson and Brent Burns — the Ducks should be able to roll past the Coyotes for a second straight win.
Prediction: Pick: Ducks -118
Full-Game Total Pick
Arizona’s lack of offense against Dallas likely will continue unless the Ducks are undisciplined and take penalties, something that happened often last season. Anaheim, though, had a good penalty kill against San Jose and if it can contain Ekman-Larsson at the point in those situations, it should give Gibson a workable margin of error.
The two goaltenders met head-to-head once last season, with the Ducks winning 5-2 as they put four past Raanta on 25 shots before adding an empty-netter. There also have been a combined three shutouts in the last four games played in Arizona.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 5.5 goals
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Ducks, especially on the power play, appeared to be operating at one or two gears higher than what the Coyotes look like they can achieve in the early going without Dvorak and Galchenyuk. The confidence from picking the Stars on the money line extends here to the 3-way for a regulation victory.
Prediction: Pick: Ducks 3-way regulation win (+135)
Half-Time Side Pick
This is as much a pick for the Ducks as it is against the Coyotes based on the performance of Anaheim’s top two lines against San Jose and the belief it will get at least one power-play opportunity in the opening 20 minutes. At the very least, Gibson should be able to backstop Anaheim to a lead after the first period as the Coyotes continue to figure out how to generate offense with Stepan and Keller separated except while on the power play.
Prediction: Pick: Ducks -120
Half-Time Total Bet
The belief is the Coyotes will have enough jump in their home opener to beat Gibson once in the opening 20 minutes, and at worst, the Ducks are even by the horn at the end of the first period (The preference being Anaheim is ahead based on the previous pick).
Prediction: Pick: OVER 1.5 goals (-115)