A pair of teams from the West Division meet on the ice in the Gateway City looking to pick up two points in the standings. The Anaheim Ducks are on the road as they close out a two-game set with the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night. These teams met on Monday night with St. Louis picking up a 3-1 victory on home ice to ensure no worse than a split of the series. In the season series this year, the Blues extended to a 5-1-1 series advantage with the victory on Monday night. Can Anaheim come up with a better showing to prevail and earn a split or will the Blues pick up another critical victory?
Anaheim Ducks Looking for SplitAnaheim is going nowhere this season and their loss Monday night was typical of many of their defeats this season: plagued by a lack of offense. The Ducks entered Tuesday last in the West Division, 35 points behind the Golden Knights for the top spot and eliminated from playoff contention. Anaheim is 30th in the league in scoring as they average 2.19 goals per game this season. The Ducks are 23rd in the league in goals against as they allow 3.15 goals a night. Anaheim is 31st in power play success as they have cashed in on just 9.2% of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Ducks are tied for 15th in penalty killing as they have successfully killed off 79.9% of their situations where they were short a man.
In Monday night’s game, the Ducks failed to do much of anything offensively and that doomed them to another defeat on the road. Anaheim was outshot 8-3 in the opening period but skated off scoreless after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, the Ducks were outshot by a 10-8 margin with both teams scoring once to leave the game even after 40 minutes of action. After falling behind 1-0, Ryan Getzlaf got the Ducks back to even with his fifth of the year, unassisted, at the 6:17 mark of the period. In the third period, Anaheim was outshot by a 14-9 count and was outscored 2-0 to wind up with the loss. John Gibson made 29 saves for the Ducks, who were outshot 32-20, in the loss. He’s expected to get the call between the pipes again for Anaheim here.
St. Louis Blues Trying to Lock Down Postseason BerthSt. Louis picked up a big win on Monday night in regards to their playoff hopes as they downed the Ducks in the front half of this two-game set. The Blues entered Tuesday fourth in the West Division, 19 points behind the Golden Knights for the top spot, and five points ahead of the Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the division. St. Louis is 13th in the league in goals for as they average 2.96 goals a contest this season. The Blues stand 21st in the league in goals-against as they allow an average of 3.06 goals a night. St. Louis is 9th in power play success as they cash in on 22.5% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Blues are 28th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate only 76.1% of their shorthanded situations this year.
It took some timely goal scoring in the third period Monday night but the Blues came up with the victory to put themselves on the cusp of a playoff spot. St. Louis controlled the opening period, holding an 8-3 shot advantage, but the game was scoreless after 20 minutes of action. In the second period, the Blues held a 10-8 edge in shots with both teams tallying once to leave the game even at one after 40 minutes of play. Brayden Schenn opened the scoring with a power play goal, his 14th of the season, at 5:52 off assists from Jaden Schwartz and Justin Faulk. The Blues gave up the equalizer only 25 seconds later. In the third period, the Blues held a 14-9 edge in shots and scored twice to earn the victory. Robert Bortuzzo’s first of the year at 2:13 off assists from Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Ryan O’Reilly hit the empty net for his 23rd of the year at 19:51 off assists from David Perron and Faulk to salt it away. Jordan Binnington made 19 stops for the Blues, who held a 32-20 shot advantage, in the victory. He’s the likely starter in goal again for this contest.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Ducks are 5-14 in their last 19 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Ducks are 2-6 in their last 8 Wednesday games
- Blues are 6-1 in their last 7 games playing on 1 day of rest'
- Blues are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. West Division teams
- Blues are 5-1 in their last six overall
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Again, we have two teams with different situations as the regular season winds down. Anaheim, doomed by a lack of offense that has plagued them for multiple seasons, is heading to locker cleanout day in the near future. St. Louis is fighting to ensure they have a crack at the postseason as they try to chase a second Stanley Cup in three years. The Blues will have an uphill climb for that should they make the field but you have to be in it to win it. St. Louis has beaten Anaheim like a drum this season and it’s hard to see things changing here with a postseason berth within reach for the hosts. Take the Blues at home as they sweep the two-game set.
Full-Game Total Pick
The inability of Anaheim to put the puck in the net with any regularity this season has been a concern. The under is 32-19-2 in their games as a result. As it stands, the Ducks are the second-worst team in the league in goals per game this season. On the season, the average game for the Ducks sees an average of 5.34 goals per game this season and that edges down slightly to 5.32 goals per game as the road team. St. Louis has seen the under post a 24-24-2 mark in their 50 games on the year. The Blues have seen an average of 6.02 goals a game this season though that number climbs slightly to 6.04 goals a night as the home team. In the seven meetings this season, we’ve seen the teams combine for seven, five, nine, five, five, five and four goals to date. It’s simply too much to ask for the Ducks to generate enough offense to push this over the mark. Lean toward the under here.