It’s a battle of teams from the West Division on the ice in the Golden State as a pair of teams in different situations take the ice. The Colorado Avalanche are on the road as they play the second game of a two-game set with the Anaheim Ducks Sunday evening. These teams played on Friday night with Colorado skating to a 2-0 triumph to ensure no worse than a split of this set. In the season series, the Avalanche owns a 5-0-2 series advantage and have won the last three matchups coming into this one. Will Colorado extend their season-long dominance of Anaheim or will the Ducks find a way to earn a victory?
Colorado Avalanche Trying to Maintain West Division EdgeColorado won for the sixth time in seven games as they took care of business against Anaheim in the front half of this two-game set. The Avalanche entered Saturday holding a four-point edge over Vegas for the top spot in the West Division. They were 16 points ahead of fifth-place St. Louis to remain on the right side of the playoff cut line. Colorado stands 1st in the league in scoring as they put up an average of 3.55 goals per game on the year. The Avalanche is third in goals against by giving up 2.35 goals a night on the season. Colorado is tied for 9th in the league in power play success as they cash in 23.3% of their chances with the man advantage. The Avalanche stands 6th in the league in penalty killing by successfully navigating 83.7% of their shorthanded situations on the year.
In Friday’s game, the Avalanche rebounded from getting torched for eight goals in a loss to the Wild by blanking the Ducks. The opening period of play saw the Avalanche hold a 9-8 edge in shots on goal with neither side lighting the lamp. In the second period, Colorado saw the shots even at 12 in the stanza and scored the lone goal to take a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. Valeri Nicushkin opened the scoring with his ninth of the year at 17:12 off assists from Ryan Graves and Tyson Jost. The third period saw Colorado with a 14-8 edge in shots on goal and they tallied the lone marker to earn the win. Mikko Rantanen scored his 23rd of the season into an empty net at 19:26 off an assist from Nathan MacKinnon. Jonas Johansson made 28 saves for Colorado, who held a 35-28 edge in shots on goal, in the shutout victory. Philipp Grubauer is expected to get the start in goal here.
Anaheim Ducks Looking to Earn Home VictoryAnaheim kept the Colorado attack in check for most of the night Friday but was once again doomed by a lack of offensive production. The Ducks entered Saturday last in the West Division, 27 points behind the Avalanche for the top spot and 12 points back of Arizona for the final playoff spot. Anaheim is 30th in the league in scoring as they average 2.22 goals per game this season. The Ducks are 26th in the league in goals against as they allow 3.20 goals a night. Anaheim is 31st in power play success as they have cashed in on just 11.2% of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Ducks are tied for 22nd in penalty killing as they have successfully killed off 77.1% of their situations where they were short a man.
In Friday’s game, the Ducks were solid defensively but they were unable to dent the twine, sending them to another defeat. Anaheim was outshot 9-8 in the opening period with neither team denting the twine, leaving things scoreless. In the second period, both teams fired 12 shots on goal with the Ducks being outscored 1-0 to trail by that margin after 40 minutes. The third period saw Anaheim outshot 14-8 and outscored 1-0 to wind up with the loss. John Gibson made 33 saves for the Ducks, who were outshot 35-28, in the loss. He’s projected to be between the pipes again in this contest for Anaheim.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Avalanche are 8-2 in their last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- Avalanche are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a win
- Ducks are 0-7 in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Anaheim hung tough in the game on Friday night but their lack of offense, which has been a problem all year long, proved to be their undoing. Colorado is one of the most explosive offensive teams in the league and we’ve seen them pile up goals on a regular basis this season. The Avalanche has a ton of weapons to work with and they shored up their goaltending by acquiring Devan Dubnyk for a fifth-round pick and Greg Pateryn. Anaheim doesn’t generate much in the way of offense and that proves to be their undoing again here. Take the Avalanche and look for them to prevail by multiple goals to sweep the set.
Full-Game Total Pick
Colorado has seen the under hit in 21 of their 40 games this season. The average total for the Avalanche has been 5.90 goals per game though that number slips slightly to 5.88 goals a night on the road. The inability of Anaheim to put the puck in the net with any regularity this season has been a concern. The under is 23-16-2 in their games as a result. As it stands, the Ducks are second-worst in goals per game this season. On the season, the average game for the Ducks sees an average of 5.41 goals per game this season and that drops to 5.32 goals per game as the home team. In the meetings this season, the teams have combined for five, four, five, nine, 12, seven and two goals. The teams had gone over in three straight meetings before Friday. Look for Colorado to break out offensively and help push this one over the mark.