Will Ducks climb back into series vs. Preds?
Perhaps a trip to the Music City will be music to the ears of Anaheim. After all, things couldn’t have gone worse on the home front.
The Ducks enter Bridgestone Arena tonight facing a 0-2 deficit in their opening-round tussle with the Predators. Despite back-to-back clunkers out West, though, the Pacific Division champs are 1.5-goal favorites in this must-win situation. Oddsmakers at online sports book Bovada.lv list the over/under total at five goals.
Nashville will gladly play the underdog card if it means the same sort of results that transpired at the Honda Center. Netminder Pekka Rinne piloted a pair of 3-2 victories to give the Preds a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time. Six different skaters boast tallies for Peter Laviolette’s club, while Bruce Boudreau’s big guns basically continue to come up empty.
Will desperation mode light a fire under Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler, though? After all, the trio combined for 178 points during the regular season. Unfortunately, Anaheim’s stars at forward can’t do much about shaky goaltending. John Gibson has allowed six goals on 60 shots through 120 minutes. One wonders if Boudreau must make a change and roll the dice with Frederik Andersen, who played sparingly down to the stretch due to a concussion.
In any event, the Ducks need a spark – and fast. If the Predators light the lamp first, the visitors could be in for an exceedingly long evening. There’s a reason why Anaheim piled up triumphs in its final 41 contests. Expect another one-score affair, but with more offense from start to finish.
TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: DUCKS/PREDATORS OVER 5 GOALS