The Anaheim Ducks will be hunting for their third win in their last four games when they host the Minnesota Wild in Western Conference action Friday night from the Honda Center. The Wild were edged 4-3 by the Sharks on Tuesday, and they take on the Kings on Thursday night, while the Ducks recorded a 3-2 home win over the Flames in their previous action. The Ducks won two of three games over the Wild last season.
Wild Resume Tough Seven Game Road Trip
The Minnesota Wild will be playing the sixth game of a challenging seven game road trip in this contest. They are 2-2 through the first four games of the trip heading into Thursday’s game against the Kings. Wild’ captain Mikko Koivu snapped out of a four game pointless drought with two assists in the Wild’ 4-3 loss in San Jose on Tuesday night. The 13-year veteran center has tallied eight points in 14 games on the season. Wild’ scoring leader Zach Parise has cooled off recently, collecting two points in his last five games. Overall, the 34-year old left-winger is having a solid season, netting five goals along with eight assists, and he leads the Wild with a plus seven rating. Parise has performed well against the Ducks in his career, registering 15 points in 23 games. Minnesota now stands at 2-3 in their last five games heading into Friday’s game, and they possess a 3-4 record away from home.
Bruce Boudreau tells media Eric Staal is still battling an illness and unless he feels remarkably better tonight, he likely won't play on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/31GAvM84hW
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) November 7, 2018
The Wild could give the start in goal to backup Alex Stalock in the second game of a back-to-back set. Stalock has conceded a combined 10 goals in his three games played this season paired with an .895 save percentage and a 2-1 record. Minnesota is averaging a solid 3.1 goals per game, ranking them 15th in the NHL. They are holding opponents to an average of 2.8 goals, good for 11th in the NHL.
Ducks Open Home Stand with Win Over Flames
The Anaheim Ducks have answered a seven game losing streak by winning two out of their last three games. They opened a three game home stand with a solid 3-2 home win over the Flames on Wednesday night. Ducks’ point leader Rickard Rakell added his ninth assist of the season in the victory. The 25-year old center has tallied five points in his last five games, and he is up to 12 points in 17 games on the season. Rakell hasn’t generated any significant offense in his career against the Wild, collecting only two points in 10 career games. Ryan Getzlaf is the hottest player in the Ducks lineup right now, collecting three goals along with five assists in his last six games, and he has a total of 11 points in 11 games on the season. Anaheim now stands at 4-2-1 on home ice.
🗣: "It’s a reward for our whole group. The way the guys battled. Millsy [Ryan Miller] made a couple huge saves that don’t get unrecognized in our room. That’s a reward, definitely, after the work we’ve put in the last couple weeks."#ElCapitan breaks down the win! pic.twitter.com/eTPxBRMfur
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 8, 2018
The Ducks are expected to send John Gibson between the pipes in this one. The 25-year old goaltender has steadily kept his team in games this season, and he is carrying a strong 2.41 GAA and a .933 save percentage paired with a 5-5-3 record. Anaheim is struggling to score with any consistency, averaging only 2.4 goals per game, ranking them 29th in the NHL. They have received strong goaltending and they are holding opponents to 2.7 goals, pegging them eighth in the NHL.
The Anaheim Ducks are:
- 7-3 in their last 10 home games against the Wild.
- 7-2 in their last 9 Friday games.
- under is 5-0 in their last 5 games overall.
- under is 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
The Minnesota Wild are:
- 4-11 in their last 15 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am siding with the Ducks in this one. The Wild are playing in their sixth game of a tough seven game road trip in this contest, and they are also playing on zero days of rest in this one, so I expect fatigue to play a factor. Furthermore, the Ducks have fared well against the Wild, winning 14 out of the last 19 meetings. In addition, the Wild haven’t been as sharp defensively away from home, allowing an average of 3.14 goals on the road this season.
Prediction: Anaheim Ducks
Full-Game Total Pick
Goals should be at a premium in this one. The Ducks are holding opponents to 2.7 goals per game on the season, good for eighth in the NHL, and John Gibson features a sharp 2.41 GAA on the season, plus the under is 5-0-1 in their last six home games against the Wild.
Furthermore, the Ducks haven’t been scoring many goals themselves, scoring two or fewer goals in seven out of their last ten games. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams, and it should hit again in this one.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am taking the over on the Ducks team total. Wild backup goalie Alex Stalock is expected to be in net in this one in the second game of back-to-back. Stalock owns a subpar .895 save percentage, and he has allowed a total of 10 goals in his three games of action.
Prediction: Ducks Team Total: Over
Half-Time Total Bet
I am taking the under on the first period total. Both teams haven’t generate any significant offense in the first period this season. The first period is the lowest scoring period for both the Ducks and Wild with both scoring only 11 goals in the first period. I anticipate a very low scoring contest.
Prediction: First Period Total: Under