|NHL Hockey: Nashville at Anaheim|
|Written by TheSpread|
|Wednesday, 06 December 2006 11:00|
Bettors Are Predicting a Victory Tonight For The League Leading Ducks
79% of Bets Placed on Anaheim -170 | Matchup | Goalies
Despite their high point and goal totals, both teams lost their last game - an unlikely occurrence for each club this season.
The Ducks, with an NHL-high 46 points, fell 3-2 to Los Angeles on Sunday in the finale of a home-and-home series with the Kings. The loss ended a five-game winning streak and was only Anaheim's third defeat in regulation this season.
The Ducks (20-3-6), who scored a power-play goal for the fifth straight game, have a Western Conference-best 102 goals. They've scored with the man advantage in 11 of the last 12 games.
The Predators (17-6-3) have lost two in a row for the first time since dropping three straight to open the season. Nashville had won four in a row before losing 4-3 in overtime to Chicago on Saturday and 3-2 to Phoenix on Monday, the opener of a four-game road trip.
Nashville, which leads the Central Division with 37 points, is second in the Western Conference with 91 goals.
The Predators have 11 road victories, tied with San Jose for the most in the conference. The Ducks, meanwhile, are 12-2-4 in Anaheim, giving them the most home victories in the NHL.
Anaheim begins a five-game trip following Wednesday's contest, and would like a better effort than the one it turned in Sunday.
``I don't think we played desperate enough until late in the hockey game and that was the difference,'' Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. ``They were a more desperate hockey team to start and it seemed like we got frustrated with it and didn't react in the proper way. There aren't too many times you can say that about this group, but tonight was one of those nights.''
Jean-Sebastien Giguere lost in regulation for only the second time in 23 games (16-2-5). He was forced to come in with 12:34 remaining when Ilya Bryzgalov went down with an injury trying to make a save.
Giguere is 8-5-1 against Nashville, and his 1.89 goals-against average against the Predators is the second-lowest of his career against teams he's faced at least five times.
Nashville had been 13-0-3 when leading after two periods this season before allowing two goals to the Coyotes.
``It started in the second period and I think they just outworked us,'' Predators goalie Chris Mason said. ``They were hungrier than we were and it came down to being outworked.''
The Predators have been outscored 34-18 in the third period, a minus-16 differential that's the worst in the league.
Wednesday's game marks the return of Paul Kariya to Anaheim. Kariya - first in Ducks history with 669 points - has had little success against his former team. Since leaving Anaheim before the 2003-04 season, the left wing has only three points in six games against the Ducks and none in four games as a Predator.
Anaheim has won three straight against Nashville and four of the last five meetings between the teams. The Ducks have been even better at home, winning 11 of 14 all-time matchups at the Honda Center.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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