Something's got to give when the Ottawa Senators (6-12-1) visit the Anaheim Ducks (6-13-1) on Friday afternoon. This is a game that doesn't exactly have a lot of playoff implications, as these clubs have started the 2022-23 NHL season as the two worst teams in the league each having just 13 points. The Senators have dropped three in a row, but Anaheim has a bit of momentum with a 3-2 win over the Rangers on Tuesday to cash as +139 underdogs. Anaheim has a bit of an edge being at home, but the Senators might also be considered the better team as they've been favored in five of their last nine (2-6-1). It's also somewhat shocking that this is a toss-up line considering Ottawa is just 1-6-1 on the road this season.
Ottawa Struggling on Both EndsThe Senators aren't living by a winning formula lately, allowing 4+ goals in four of their last five while at the same time scoring two or less in four of those five as well. Ottawa has a solid goaltending duo – on paper at least – but Cam Talbot is just 1-5 since his season debut on November 3rd after an upper body injury. A lot of Talbot's poor record is on the Senators' lack of offense though as he does have a decent 2.83 GAA which is 25th in the NHL.
It's either Talbot or Anton Forsberg in net vs. the Ducks, and Forsberg is coming around in allowing just five goals in his last three appearances after giving up 17 in his previous four. Despite decent numbers from both goaltenders, Ottawa ranks 28th in the NHL in goals allowed (3.6) and 27th in shots allowed (33.9).
One thing that gives Ottawa some value in Friday afternoon's meeting is that their offense might not be as bad as one goal scored in each of their last three losses would indicate. The Senators do rank 15th in the NHL scoring 3.2 goals/game and are firing off the 9th most shots (32.8) but that really hasn't equated to wins.
Ducks the Standard Home Ice Play?In a toss-up game the natural inclination is to go with the home team, but at the same time you have to ask why both the Senators and Ducks have the same odds with Anaheim being at home. The Ducks did pick up a nice 3-2 win over the Rangers on Wednesday despite being outshot 43-22, but this is still an Anaheim team that had lost six of seven games prior with four of those coming at home.
One advantage that Anaheim has coming into Friday afternoon's game is that they have consistency in net with John Gibson starting seven of the last eight games. Gibson stopped 41 of 43 shots from a good Rangers offense on Tuesday and before that he stonewalled 24 of 26 SOG from St. Louis before the Blues scored an empty netter in Monday's 3-1 win. Gibson is still just 2-6 with a 3.80 GAA this month however.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
In a matchup of the two teams with the fewest points in the NHL it's hard to find an edge on either side. The Ducks are at home where they're a decent 4-4-0 this season and they've gotten consecutive solid outings from Gibson in net. Ottawa has only picked up points in two of their eight road tilts this season and they're playing their third straight away game on Friday night which is especially tough coming off a holiday.
Full-Game Total Pick
Gibson has had two consecutive good outings allowing just two goals apiece to the Blues and Rangers. On Friday he gets a home contest against a Senators squad that has only scored three goals total in their last three games. At the other end of the ice the Ducks are the third lowest scoring team in the NHL at just 2.5 goals/game while having the league's second worst power play attack (13.2%). This game feels like a 3-2 finish.