Western Conference titans clash shortly
John Gibson is acclimating quite nicely to his new role as the Ducks’ workhorse in net. Still, can the 23-year-old cool off the Blues tonight?
The Western Conference heavyweights will the hit ice in southern California at 9 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Anaheim odds of -170 to take care of business at home. Conversely, Ken Hitchcock’s squad enters the Honda Center as a +150 underdog.
After splitting goaltending duties with Fredrik Andersen over the last two seasons, Gibson has firmly grabbed the No. 1 job in 2016-17. The Pennsylvania native owns a 5-1 record with a sub-2.00 GAA and .920 save percentage in his past six starts. He’s also on pace to play 68 games, which would shatter his previous career high of 40.
St. Louis wants Jake Allen to thrive in much the same way. Unfortunately, the former second-round pick appears to be regressing between the pipes. He was even benched yesterday in favor of Carter Hutton, who made 26 saves in the Note’s 4-0 shutout of San Jose.
Asking Allen to find his stride against Randy Carlisle’s club, however, seems borderline unfair. The Ducks have captured five of their last six tilts to vault into first place in the Pacific Division. Moreover, they’re 8-3-1 vs. the Blues since the beginning of the 2012-13 campaign. Expect the good times to continue out West.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUES/DUCKS OVER 5.5 GOALS