NHL Betting: Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers

NHL Betting:  Anaheim Ducks at Edmonton Oilers

The NHL regular season is winding down and time is running out for teams to lock down playoff berths or, in the case of the Anaheim Ducks, to lock down high playoff seeds. The Edmonton Oilers ‘ran out of time’ a couple of games ago and have been eliminated from postseason contention. The Ducks, on the other hand, are hoping to hold on to the #2 seed in the West which will give them home ice advantage through most–if not all–of the Western Conference playoffs.

Anaheim wasn’t expected to do much this season and even after a hot start there was talk that they might be a ‘fluke’. Nevertheless, they’ve maintained their solid play throughout much of the season aided in large part by the surprise emergence of goaltender Victor Fasth. Fasth’s impressive play has allowed the Ducks to form an effective goaltending tandem with veteran Jonas Hiller and the two men have combined to give Anaheim a top ten scoring defense. Ironically, the balanced workload and strong play of the Ducks’ goalies is being considered by some as a potential negative for the playoffs where teams usually like to go with a top goalie and not switch off from game to game.

Edmonton has an opportunity to ‘play spoiler’ down the stretch but it doesn’t seem like they have the desire. They’ve lost 7 of their last 8 games and it’s doubtful that a season ending run where they face Anaheim, Chicago, Minnesota on the road and Vancouver is something that they’ll get ‘up’ for. The Ducks should be able to take advantage of this–in the shortened NHL season with the resulting strangely configured schedule this is not only the second straight games between these two teams but the second straight games in Edmonton–the Ducks and Oilers played yesterday with Anaheim winning 3-1. The Ducks have had almost no trouble with Edmonton in recent meetings–Anaheim has won 8 of the last 10 head to head meetings overall including a 5-0 sweep in the last five in Edmonton. That should continue here–Anaheim has had trouble scoring goals of late but that’s not a huge issue against an Oilers’ team that is ranked in the bottom tier of scoring offense league wide.